Champion Crows on wrong side of a nine-goal thriller as Arlesey clinch late winner

Steve Castle. Picture: Kev Richards

Steve Castle. Picture: Kev Richards - Credit: Archant

Royston Town played out a nine-goal Bank Holiday thriller at Arlesey Town.

Steve Castle used Monday’s dead rubber to try out some new players and positions, and in the end his Crows, already champions of Southern League Division One Central, fell to a 5-4 defeat.

There were first team league debuts for Romelle Alomeni, Tom Canham and Michael Baulk with Alomeni starting at left-back and Canham and Baulk on the bench.

After being stretched at the back Royston fell behind to an early Dom Morgillo goal but then Kaan Fehmi equalised with his 100th goal for the club, the forward tapping in from just three yards to seal his century.

Joe Welch then conceded from a long strike for a 2-1 Arlesey lead, but a minute later the keeper had to be alert to deny Arlesey following some sloppy defending.

Scott Bridges fired in the equaliser from the penalty spot on 24 minutes following a foul in the box, and then a minute before the break Royston took the lead when a trademark high cross by Chris Watters had goalkeeper Bart Pedrycz scrambling and Ryan Ingrey bravely read the situation better and the ball fell on his head and lobbed in.

Kaan Fehmi left the game at half-time to be replaced up front by Rod Orlando-Young but the Crows conceded an early penalty which Welch superbly saved from Jack Vasey.

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Watters gave way for Canham in midfield on 55 minutes and 17-year old Baulk made his debut coming on for Adam Murray on 62 minutes.

The scores were levelled two minutes later with Vasey lobbing Welch after some loose marking.

Royston regained the lead on 76 minutes with Orlando-Young involved – his powerful shot was only parried by Pedrycz and Ingrey was there to follow in for 4-3.

In a bizarre last 10 minutes Royston pushed forward for more goals but left themselves exposed at the back, enough for Arlesey to swing the deficit score to victory.

The hosts drew level on 84 minutes with a gift of a ball across the defence that was finished well by Vasey, and then they won the game as Royston exposed their soft under-belly and were suitably punished as Vasey found substitute Rafe Goodman.

A last ditch Bridges free-kick was easily saved on 93 minutes and the referee brought this open and strangely entertaining game to an end.