Crows start New Year with defeat

Colney Heath 2 Royston Town 1

ROYSTON TOWN kicked off the New Year in the worst possible fashion with defeat at Colney Heath.

Ryan Lockett had given the Crows a 52nd minute lead at the Recreation Ground but two strikes from the home team condemned Paul Attfield’s side to their seventh defeat of the campaign.

Considering their lack of match practice, Royston played some excellent football but missed opportunities and indiscipline continue to haunt the side as Colney’s winner came in the 80th minute.

Colney played a direct game throughout which Royston effectively dealt with for the most part. This often gave Royston the chance to hit the hosts on the counter attack but good approach play was not always matched by the correct final ball and both defences stayed on top in the first half.

Carl Edwards had Royston’s best chance when a fine passing move opened up the home defence and Edwards raced into the area but the Colney ‘keeper raced from his line to block his effort.

David Cain and Martin Standen both had efforts from set plays miss the target and another Standen header from Lockett’s free kick went straight at the ‘keeper.

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Royston maintained momentum in the second half and took the lead when a left-wing cross was only half cleared and Lockett smashed in an unstoppable volley high into the net from 12 yards.

Chances came more often with debutant Matt Standen firing over from close range after another good move before the ‘keeper saved well from both Cain and Ricky Young.

With Royston in complete control, the game turned on its head on 65 minutes when captain Ross Collins was sent off by referee Howes for an off the ball incident. From the awarded free kick Steve Barker headed home to double the punishment.

The game then opened out in a frenzied, end-to-end affair and with Royston now a man down the equaliser had clearly galvanised the hosts.

Jorden Gibson made one great save to deny Colney grabbing a second while at the other end Bobby Dance crashed a 25-yard effort against the crossbar.

However, it was the home team who snatched the points with 10 minutes remaining when Jamie Eames produced a crisp finish from 12 yards after neat build-up play.

Colney were also reduced to 10 men shortly afterwards when Josh Humbert received his second yellow card of the match.

Royston applied plenty of late pressure as they searched desperately for an equaliser which failed to materialise.

It was another disappointing defeat for the Crows after taking a second half lead and they now slip further behind leaders Chalfont in the league standings after the Saints cruised to a 5-1 win over Aylesbury United.

Royston Town: Gibson, Collins, Grinham (Whitaker), Endacott, Cain, Martin, Standen (Lamacraft), Edwards, Lockett, Young (Dance), Matt Standen, Malins.

Attendance: 102