Crows back to winning ways
Royston Town Hatfield Town 2 Royston Town 3 ROYSTON Town returned to winning ways on Wednesday night, with a hard fought victory over league rivals Hatfield Town in the South Midlands Division One League Cup. Crows manager Paul Attfield made a number
Hatfield Town 2 Royston Town 3
ROYSTON Town returned to winning ways on Wednesday night, with a hard fought victory over league rivals Hatfield Town in the South Midlands Division One League Cup.
Crows manager Paul Attfield made a number of changes, with only two of Saturday's defeated FA Cup squad in the starting line-up - with six players making their Royston debuts.
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Teenager Danny Apostolos and Jan Stephens filled in the full-back slots, with Gregg Jackson and Arron Welch taking central roles. Former Royston favourite Jez McMurrough also returned, with new boy Mark Wright starting in attack.
However, it was the talented Hatfield side that started the better, passing with pace and skill as centre-backs David Cain and Michael Debnam beginning to adjust.
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As the half wore on the visitors became more composed, with Jackson and Welch pulling the strings for Wright and Ryan Lockett. And it was from one such move that saw The Crows take the lead, when Welch's threaded pass found McMurrough for a coolly taken finish.
Wright also went close with one powerful strike cannoning off the post, with his intelligent approach play causing the hosts no end of problems.
After the interval, Royston continued to threaten with a challenging Ricky Young cross just eluding the on-running Wright. However, the forward made no mistake moments later when he hooked the ball home from close range to double The Crows' lead.
At this point Royston were in confident mood, however two defensive mistakes allowed Hatfield back into the game and on level terms following two well-taken strikes.
With a new lease of life it was now Hatfield who began to take control, with Royston's youngsters failing to find their composure. However, after weathering the storm The Crows bounced back with a strong final 10 minutes.
Lockett raced clear only to be denied by the Hatfield keeper's legs, before Luke Robins snatched a late winner meeting Tom Malins' diagonal pass and clipping the ball home.
Jordan Gibson made one brilliant save in the closing moments to keep his side in front, and with that Royston held on to secure a second round clash with Bedford.
Attfield said: "This was an excellent victory, especially for such a changed team and one against last season's Herts County League Premier Division winners. We battled admirably and overall I think we deserved the victory - they can take great heart from their performance."
Royston Town: Jordan Gibson; Danny Apostolos, Jan Stephens, David Cain, Michael Debnam; Arron Welch, Ricky Young, Gregg Jackson, Jez McMurrough; Mark Wright, Ryan Lockett. (Subs): Ross Collins, Tom Malins, Luke Robins.