Crows fly into cup final
ROYSTON Town will finish their season with an appearance in the South Midlands Senior Floodlit cup final after a tense victory against Oxhey Jets at Garden Walk on Wednesday evening. Paul Attfield s side struggled to find any of the form they had in rec
ROYSTON Town will finish their season with an appearance in the South Midlands Senior Floodlit cup final after a tense victory against Oxhey Jets at Garden Walk on Wednesday evening.
Paul Attfield's side struggled to find any of the form they had in recent league games but a three goal burst early in the second half and an inspired performance from Jorden Gibson saw them cross the line and face Broxbourne Borough on Sunday, May 16.
"It will be a great way to end our season with a cup final," said Attfield.
"We never really got hold of the game and I felt Jets made a decent fist of the it and they can quite rightly can feel aggrieved they haven't won the game.
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"We made too many basic defensive errors which created too much unnecessary pressure and, at times, we had to defend desperately against decent forwards. "We had an excellent opening period to the second half when we found extra gears and a fine goalkeeping show from Jorden proved enough for us on the evening."
The first half was a cagey affair with Royston showing glimpses of attacking prowess but struggling to break through a greatly numbered Jets defensive set-up who attempted to catch Royston on the break with their three very pacy front men.
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Full-back Ashley Grinham had the Crow's best chance of the half from the best attacking move when he raced onto a through-ball and rounded the 'keeper but shot into the side netting from a tight angle.
Ryan Lockett hit a well struck free kick just wide from 25 yards with the 'keeper well beaten before Jets struck just before the half-hour mark with their first real chance.
Royston rather shot themselves in the foot as disastrous marking allowed Luke Beardsworth to head a corner in from just six yards.
This livened the Jets up and a only a last ditch Nick Mulvaney tackle and a smart diving block from Gibson denied Jets two more goals from vigorous counter-attacking but there was no more scoring before the interval.
Whatever was said at half time certainly worked as Attfield introduced Luke Robins and a change of formation as the hosts went straight on the attack to hit a seven minute, three goal burst early in the half.
Robins's first run down the left channel saw him out-pace the full back and his sublime cross was met by Russell Bull at the far post for 1-1.
Unfortunately Robins caught a knock when supplying the cross and had to be replaced three minutes later with suspected ankle ligament damage.
Before the substitution, full back Lewis Endacott had given Royston the lead as he raced into the heart of the Jets' central defence and unleashed an unstoppable 20-yard thunderbolt into the roof of the net.
Scott Crosk replaced Luke Robins and with the hosts' tails up they added a third when Ryan Lockett's low angled cross was again turned in by Bull at the far post.
In complete home ascendancy, the pendulum turned with 20 minutes remaining when more poor marking from a throw-in allowed Beardsworth time to swivel and strike into the far corner of the net to help his side reduce the deficit.
Royston got nervous and edgy and no fewer than five stunning saves from Gibson kept the lead in tact.
Jets also hit the woodwork when a free kick missed everyone and hit the base of the upright.
They held firm though, and they can now look forward to the prospect of winning more silverware.