Crows left with bitter taste in the mouth

Rugby leapfrog Royston at the top of the table

Rugby Town 2

Royston Town 1

Evo-Stik Southern Central Division

IT was always likely to happen.

The Crows were left deflated after their re-run with Rugby Town on Tuesday night – following the abandonment of last month’s original fixture due to partial floodlight failure while Royston were leading 1-0 with 20 minutes to go – ended in defeat as the Midlands side leapfrogged them at the top of the table.

On a bitterly cold night in Warwickshire, the match only went ahead after a late pitch inspection deemed the surface at Butlin Road playable.

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Royston started this match well and put together several good passing moves and Ryan Lockett, who looked sharp, had an early shot blocked by keeper Dave Bevan.

Luke Robins was also proving troublesome for the home side and most of the opening forward play involved him up the left-wing.

A long distance Jack Bradshaw effort had Bevan scrabbling but the shot went just by the post.

On 13 minutes the referee awarded a penalty to Rugby for a foul in the box but Will Norris spread himself superbly to block Sam Belcher’s shot, only seeing the rebound fall to the same player who headed it goalward but only into the grateful hands of Norris.

This let-off didn’t change the pattern of the game and Royston still tried to move the ball around and Rugby strove to break up the play and break quickly forward to involve their extremely active striker, David Kolodynski.

The Crows deservedly took the lead on 27 minutes with Lockett hitting a superb swerving drive past Bevan, following some good link-up play from Lewis Endacott and Robins.

Undeterred, the home side were now in the ascendancy and Royston’s play became scrappier as they were forced to defend deeper and more often. Rugby drew level two minutes before half time when Fazel Koriya put the ball high into the net following a poorly defended Craig Kelly corner.

Despite a promising first five minutes in the second half Royston just could not replicate the play they had shown in the first half.

Matt Standen saw a good chance go wide and a long distance effort from Jack Bradshaw went straight to the keeper.

The Crows seemed to lose their way and the tempo of the game disappeared. Caretaker manager Duncan Easley tried to mix it up by introducing all three substitutes but none of these changes provided any impetus.

The Rugby winner was only a matter of time in coming and the home team’s Man of the Match Kolodynski didn’t let his noisy fans down, powering home a once again disappointingly defended set-piece, taking his side top of the league in the process.

Ironically this game was won in the 70th minute, which was approximately the same time the floodlights failed in the abandoned match last time out. Easley must have been looking for the power switch.

Royston Town: Norris, Parr (McDevitt 75), Endacott, Bradshaw, DeLaSalle, Spencer (Ingrey 70), Collins (c), Edwards, Standen (Malins 62), Lockett, Robins.

Man of the Match: Will Norris

Attendance: 130