Crows' FA Cup run continues with victory over Hoddesdon Town
Hoddesdon Town 0 Royston Town 1 ROYSTON inched their way into the first qualifying round of the FA Cup after a hard fought battle against Spartan South Midlands Division One side Hoddesdon Town on Friday evening. Credit should be given to Hoddesdon who ma
Hoddesdon Town 0 Royston Town 1
ROYSTON inched their way into the first qualifying round of the FA Cup after a hard fought battle against Spartan South Midlands Division One side Hoddesdon Town on Friday evening.
Credit should be given to Hoddesdon who made it an uncomfortable evening for the Crows with their energy and willing attitude, but ultimately a solid defensive performance and a moment of quality from winger Luke Robins in the 31st minute proved decisive.
The game was even in the opening exchanges but quite scrappy with the poor playing surface at the neutral Hertford Town FC ground not encouraging any sort of good football.
Chances were at a premium but as the game settled Royston had the better of them in the first half.
An energetic run down the right saw Ricky Young cut inside the full back but his tee-up for Ryan Wade was blocked while Young's own follow-up was cleared off the line for a corner.
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Hoddesdon's best chance came midway through the half when a left wing cross missed its targets and curled inches wide of Jorden Gibson's post.
Ryan Wade had a couple of decent chances but was guilty of missing the target before Luke Robins got the decisive goal of the game when he charged into the area and lashed a 12-yard angled drive past Alan Buck who had no chance with the ferocity of the strike.
Hoddesdon raised their game and put a number of testing balls into Royston's area but centre halves David Cain and Michael Debnam continued their reliable partnership by clearing up any danger, and in the second period some poor possession in parts put Royston under some unnecessary pressure.
The defence held firm and despite a flurry of corners and free kicks aimed into their box, the visitors' determined back line could not be breached and Gibson was not required to make any saves.
As the game reached its later stages Royston looked threatening on the break and with a little more care could have killed the game off.
Ricky Young and Michael Debnam had a shot and a header respectively miss the target while Ryan Wade lobbed over when well positioned after a goalkeeping slip.
Danny Dolan also had a clear one-on-one chance which he mis-kicked weakly wide of the target.
In the end Royston's defensive determination saw them home and put a �1,500 cheque in the club's coffers while a trip to Hellenic league side Flackwell Heath on Saturday, September 12, is their reward
Boss Paul Attfield said: "For the neutral it was probably an excellent cup tie to watch. "We invited considerable pressure on ourselves due to our poor ball retention which was disappointing but you have to give some good credit to Hoddesdon.
"They really came at us and never really let us settle. From our part we never got out of second gear as an attacking force and I was delighted with how our back line performed.
"That matched with Luke's excellent strike proved pivotal."
Royston: Gibson, Babbage (Cook), Bitting, Debnam, Cain, Turl, Edwards, Young, Wade, Collins (Dolan), Robins. Subs: Barlow, Crosk, Morriss.