Crows pay the penalty

Crows’ recent good run of results ends with visit of Hanwell Town

ROYSTON TOWN somehow managed to lose at home to Hanwell Town on Saturday.

Despite a good performance from Paul Attfield’s side, it’s never a good idea to give away two needless penalties and the result brought an end to their recent good run of results.

Royston started brightly and looked like a team full of confidence as they enjoyed plenty of possession in the opening stages. However, chances were few and far between despite winning a succession of corners.

Hanwell hadn’t looked like offering much in terms of attack despite having the league’s top goalscorer, Blaise O’Brien, in their ranks. But, they were gifted the opportunity to take the lead on 23 minutes after Crows defender David Cain, making his first league start of the season, was adjudged to have brought down O’Brien in the box.

The striker then stepped up to send goalkeeper Lee Robinson the wrong way.

Things got worse for Royston 10 minutes later when Charley Baverstock scored Hanwell’s second with one of the best goals that will be seen at Garden Walk this season.

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There didn’t appear to be any immediate danger when Baverstock roamed towards goal midway into the Crows’ half but his audacious strike from 30 yards out caught Robinson unawares before arrowing into the top corner.

Attfield then took the move of bringing on Josh Bronti for striker Ryan Lockett 10 minutes before half time as he clearly felt something needed changing.

Winger Luke Robins came agonisingly close to pulling a goal back before the interval when his volley from just outside the area cannoned back off the crossbar.

After the break Royston stepped up a gear and within four minutes of the restart they pulled a goal back from the spot after Lewis Endacott was adjudged to have been pushed in the area. Skipper Ross Collins kept his head to send Keiran Jimmy the wrong way from 12 yards.

It looked like only a matter of time before the Crows found the equaliser but a mixture of great goalkeeping and gilt-edged misses meant they couldn’t find a way through.

Ricky Young brought a good save out of Jimmy midway through the second half after the winger had cut into the box from the right while Carl Edwards missed a glorious opportunity to level when he shot straight at the ‘keeper from 10 yards out following Young’s cutback.

Then, with just over 10 minutes remaining, Hanwell scored a sucker-punch third when Cain, again, was adjudged to have fouled his man in the area.

O’Brien stepped up to score his second penalty of the day to seal an unlikely three points.

Crows continued to press, though, and substitute Tom Whittaker pulled a goal back in the 88th minute with a neat close-range header from Collins’ teasing ball into the box from the left.

Collins was unlucky not to get himself on the scoresheet again when he had two brilliant long-range shots tipped over the crossbar before the final whistle.

In the end Royston ran out of time and Hanwell will feel they had more than their fair share of help from the Crows on their way to winning the three points.