Crows get back to winning ways

Royston Town 1 Tring Athletic 0

ROYSTON TOWN recorded a deserved win over second-placed Tring Athletic on Saturday courtesy of Carl Edwards’ first half strike.

The victory was marred slightly, though, when Crows midfielder Martin Standen was shown a straight red card in the final 10 minutes for violent conduct culminating in a mass brawl involving players from both sides.

However, Paul Attfield’s side were worthy winners of the three points and had Ryan Lockett converted a penalty on the hour-mark the result could well have ended up looking far more convincing. As it was, one goal was enough as Royston’s yo-yo season continues.

The Crows started on the front foot and Ashley Grinham, in particular, caused the visitors one or two early problems with surging runs down the left-hand side. The left back was also unlucky to see a header sail just over following Lockett’s corner.

Bobby Dance was desperately unlucky not to put Royston ahead after eight minutes when he turned superbly in the area only to see his ferocious effort from 15 yards cannon back off the crossbar.

The early pressure eventually told in the 18th minute, though, when Edwards notched his second goal of the season. The centre midfielder started the move on the edge of the Tring penalty area with a lovely dink over the back-line to Dance whose cross-cum-shot was cleared off the line into the path of Edwards who took his time before stroking the ball past the rooted goalkeeper.

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Lockett had Royston’s best chance to double the lead before half time with a free kick on the edge of the box only for him to slice his effort wide of the left-hand upright.

Royston continued to dominate proceedings after the interval and Dance came close to scoring number two with an arrowed drive from 18 yards that brought a full-length save from the Tring stopper.

And they had an even better opportunity to go further ahead on the hour-mark when substitute Ricky Young was adjudged to have been brought down in the area by a Tring defender. It looked a rather harsh decision on the visitors but fortunately for them their ‘keeper guessed the right way to palm Lockett’s spot-kick away to safety.

The penalty miss seemed to spur the visitors on and they had a five-minute period in which they put their foot on the gas and looked more threatening than they had in the entire match so far.

Royston, though, looked dangerous on the counter-attack and Lockett really should have done better after being put through by Tom Malins but his strike drifted narrowly wide from 15 yards.

As the match entered the final 10 minutes, the discipline of both teams began to deteriorate – starting with the sending off Tring’s Danny Gray who had inexcusably shoved the linesman in the back. The Tring midfielder argued that Grinham had planted an elbow in his face but there was way he was ever going to get away with violent conduct towards a match official.

And things got even worse a minute later when a 21-man brawl ensued following a tackle from Martin Standen and he, along with Tring’s Henry Thomas who had rushed over to square up to the Crows midfielder was sent off. A red for both players looked a tad harsh when maybe a yellow would have sufficed.

The visitors were unable to muster any meaningful goalscoring chances before the end as Royston comfortably hung on to the three points.

Royston Town (4-4-2): Gibson, Collins, Endacott, Cain, Grinham, Lockett, Martin Standen, Edwards, Malins, Dance, Matt Standen (Young 53).

Tring Athletic (4-4-2): Vincent, Mullins, Duncan, Whicker (Gray 75), Smith, Thomas, Jackson (Humphreys 90), Hall (C), Iannone, Redford, Addison (Fields 59).

Attendance: 130