Crows bow out of FA Cup

Royston not at the races as they lose 3-2 to Romford on Sunday

FA Cup with Budweiser

Preliminary Round

Romford 3-2 Royston Town

ROYSTON Town bowed out of the FA Cup on Sunday after failing to produce the level of performance that has seen them win all of their opening league games this season.

Romford went ahead after 12 minutes through Olawale Odedoyin before Dalton O’Brien levelled just past the hour mark. The Crows struggled to create much for the majority of the afternoon and second half goals from Jack Barry and Abs Seymour put the tie beyond Paul Attfield’s team. A late rally resulted in a consolation goal from Ryan Lockett four minutes from time, but it was too little too late as Romford progressed to the next round.

Attfield was understandably disappointed to go out of the competition, after harbouring high hopes of a decent run this season.

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“I’m deeply disappointed we could find so little quality until the final moments,” he said.

“Collectively we just couldn’t get any momentum or quality in our game and that, combined with too many basic mistakes on the ball and mistakes for all three of their goals, would cost you any game. We were probably a bit unfortunate not to get something from the game late on but over the 90 minutes we weren’t good enough to win the game.”

Kaan Fehmi and Tom Malins missed the match after failing to recover from midweek injuries but Rhys Lawrence and Lockett both returned to the squad. John McGrandles, Matt Standen, Tom Whitaker and Jason Beck were also missing.

Large parts of the first half were dominated by Romford. Most of Royston’s attacks were broken up far too easily due to poor decision. Romford’s pacy forward, Odedoyin, was quick onto any mistakes and within the first two minutes he was able to latch onto a couple of mistakes and race clear but Jorden Gibson blocked well.

The warning wasn’t heeded and a hopeful ball forward four minutes later was not dealt with and Odedoyin rounded Gibson and scored.

This failed to galvanise the Crows and a free header from a corner went inches wide and another home move ended with a ten yard strike that clipped the top off the crossbar. The failed scoring opportunities would haunt the Romford side as out of nothing the Crows put together a neat move and whilst the goalkeeper raced from his line to take a simple ground ball he lost his handling and O’Brien swept the ball into the net 10 minutes before half time.

This helped impose a little bit of stability into the visitors and a half time score line they hardly deserved. Another injury materialised with Ashley Grinham departing due to a groin strain but some really poor play saw Royston surrender their position within 40 seconds of the restart.

Losing simple possession from kick-off the ball was played into the area and despite two chances to clear the ball was hooked home from close range.

This was the worst possible start for Royston and it got worse 10 minutes later when an under-hit back-pass was latched onto by a forward and whilst Gibson blocked the initial effort the swift follow up was reacted too better by the Romford player and the 14 yard effort was fierce and precise.

This brought about swift changes to the line-up and formation with Lockett entering the fray and the unfamiliar 3-5-2 formation helped the visitors gain the control they needed to give them a chance.

The life in the team materialised as they went on to dominate the final 20 minutes. Ricky Young had a close-range shot deflected wide, Ross Collins had a great chance when played in by Lockett but delayed his shot and a defender recovered to block for a corner and Carl Edwards shot straight at the ‘keeper when well placed after a good move.

Royston needed a goal and Lockett headed in firmly from a left wing cross with five minutes remaining but despite long balls and constant visiting pressure there was no way through the home rearguard and Gibson made the last save of the game with a fine block in the final moments after a counter attack left Royston short.

Royston Town: Gibson, Endacott (Ratcliffe), Grinham (Fehmi), Cain, Bradshaw, Standen, Edwards, Collins, Young, O’Brien, Lawrence (Lockett).