Crows cruise into next round of FA Trophy

Three-goal second half burst sees off Aveley

FA Trophy preliminary round

Royston Town 5

Aveley 1

THE CROWS’ ruthlessness in front of goal sealed their place in the next round of the FA Trophy following an impressive display against Aveley on Saturday. They will travel to Uxbridge in the next round on September 29.

In what was the club’s first ever match in this competition, this was by no means a stroll in the park as the scoreline suggests as most of the game was evenly contested until three goals between the 53rd and 57th minute blew the visitors away.

Manager Paul Attfield had some selections problems before the game with both Lewis Endacott and Luke Robins picking up injuries in the midweek FA Cup defeat while Joe DeLasalle remained on the treatment table.

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Martin Standen returned to the squad after his recent re-signing and centre-half Liam McDevitt made his debut in defence after his midweek transfer from Barton Rovers.

The Crows looked a little disjointed in the first half, possibly from the demands of Tuesday’s FA Cup extra-time replay defeat and, despite Aveley looking the livelier in posession, both teams struggled in the final third of the pitch and not much was created.

After a cagey opening Royston took a 14th-minute lead when Lee Wilson’s corner found an unmarked Matt Standen who turned the ball into the roof of the net from to yards out.

The same player should have increased his side’s lead when he beat the offside trap but had his effort blocked by the keeper’s legs.

This failed to galvanise the hosts who were competitive but not commanding and although Aveley were technically better they created so little but were gifted an equaliser on 40 minutes.

A throw-in by the corner flag was not closed down and an unpressurised cross was met by a simple header at the far post. Aveley probably deserved their leveller on balance of play and that was how it remained at the interval.

The Crows have delivered a fair few decent second half performances so far this season and while their game needed to be lifted no-one could have foreseen the quick goalburst so early in the period.

Ryan Ingrey looked to have been fouled in the area after challenging a ball with the keeper but as a defender dallied, Jack Bradshaw robbed his dithering opponent and crossed for Matt Standen to convert at the far post.

Two minutes later the lead was doubled when Royston’s best move of the game allowed Tom Malins to cross for Ingrey who sent a firm header high into the net from 10 yards.

The game was made safe with Royston’s next attack – again Aveley got caught on a counter-attack with Ryan Lockett racing onto Ross Collins’ chipped ball and firing wide of the keeper’s dive.

Aveley made changes and despite having lots of the ball failed to test Will Norris in goal. A trio of efforts cleared the crossbar and one goal-bound angled drive was blocked by Bradshaw but it was the home side who looked likely to add to their tally with some quick advances on goal.

Matt Standen should have completed a hat-trick when a fine Taylor Parr cross found the forward unmarked at the far post but he miskicked his volley wide.

Ryan Lockett then raced onto Kaan Fehmi’s through-ball but despite beating the keeper to the ball his dinked effort fell just the wrong side of the post. Lockett made up for the miss in injury time when he fired home from Malins’ through-pass from 15 yards to complete a resounding victory.

Royston Town: Norris, Parr, Wilson (Apostolos), McDevitt, Bradshaw, Collins, Edwards (Fehmi), Matt Standen, Lockett, Ingrey.