Crows come from behind to beat North Greenford United
- Credit: Archant
ROYSTON Town came from behind with goals from Ryan Ingrey and a deflected Tom Malins shot to secure three points in a hard fought encounter with North Greenford United at Berkeley Fields, writes Jez Izod.
The Blues set their stall out in the opening minutes with an attack led by Aaron Morgan being snuffed out by John McGrandles.
The defender’s pass to Sam Spencer was misdirected by the Royston number six to give the home side a corner.
From this set piece panic ensued within the away area with the ball falling to David Taylor, his shot flew high over the bar to the relief of the Crows defence.
On 10 minutes a superb ball from Sean Hiller fed Aaron O’Connor, but his effort fizzed just wide of the upright.
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With Royston rocking, North Greenford pressed forward and were rewarded in the 14th minute after careless defending between Luke Robins and Lee Wilson allowed Morgan to pick their pockets and the number 11 made no mistake to give the home side the lead.
Confidence surged through this North Greenford side and only a superb Jack Bradshaw tackle prevented Royston from going further behind.
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The Crows started to react and excellent movement down the left flank between Robins and Wilson found Spencer lurking just outside the area, his shot into the floor was cleared by John Sonuga.
Two minutes later and the Crows were level.
After further Royston pressure, an overhead kick from Ross Collins was guided in by Ingrey.
Royston were looking the stronger side at this point with the tricky Kaan Fehmi showing his skills on numerous occasions to worry the home side.
On 36 minutes an excellent cross by Fehmi was picked up by the hard working Ingrey but the young forward was wrestled to the ground in the area. “No penalty” cried the referee much to the amazement of the away side.
Controversy reigned three minutes later when Chris Drake was fouled in the Royston area.
To the anger of the home officials the referee signalled that the offence had been committed outside of the box.
The resulting free-kick evaded everyone and rattled the post before falling to Zak Joseph, who blazed high and over.
The second half saw two Royston changes with Spencer and the battered Robins being replaced by Ryan Lockett and Matt Standen, but it was North Greenford who launched an immediate attack with O’Connor latching onto a loose ball and his curling shot just fizzed past the upright.
The referee did not endear himself to the Royston contingent when he blew up for an earlier foul with Fehmi clear through and only the goal in his sights.
However, Royston pressed on and an excellent move on 53 minutes nearly saw the Crows gain the lead.
Great interplay between Bradshaw and Malins found the lively striker in acres of space but his shot was well saved by Pearce.
On the hour mark, a little bit of ugliness set in after O’Connor cynically scythed down Bradshaw.
The official had no option but show the yellow card to the North Greenford striker, however this was not taken well by the player, who then abused the away fans with some colourful language.
The player was withdrawn from the field shortly afterwards.
The Crows continued to press for the second goal with Ingrey and Fehmi being denied by a steady home defence.
This however did not last for long and, after a North Greenford attack was averted by a superb McGrandles tackle, Malins went on a direct run and his heavily deflected shot defeated the desperate clawing Pearce to give Royston a precious lead.
With Royston trying to end this as a contest, Ingrey passed to Lockett who tested the keeper from close range, the stinging shot was pushed into the path of Standen whose strike went just over the bar.
North Greenford went in search of an equaliser and two superb blocks by De La Salle from Morgan and Drake preserved the Royston lead.
With the Royston defence fully stretched as the 90 minute mark approached, Ingrey committed his only mistake of the match by giving away a free-kick on the edge of the area. Luckily this was wasted by Liam Hind.
The referee had somehow discovered eight minutes of added time and this nearly cost the Crows dearly as Warren Morgan took a tumble in the Royston area, again “no penalty” exclaimed the official much to the anger of the home side.
The Crows held on and the final whistle was met by a huge cheer from the large travelling contingent.
Royston Town: Norris, Bradshaw, Wilson, De La Salle, McGrandles, Spencer (Lockett), Collins (c), Malins, Fehmi (Endacott), Ingrey, Robins (Standen). Subs not used: Edwards, Parr