Crows suffer first defeat in eight

Dramatic defeat sees lead at the top cut to just two points

AFC Dunstable 2

Royston Town 1

SSMFL Premier Division

ROYSTON TOWN tasted defeat for the first time in eight matches on Saturday as they went down to promotion rivals AFC Dunstable.

Trailing by one goal it seemed the Crows had done enough to earn a point when Kaan Fehmi headed in Ryan Lockett’s free-kick a minute into added time, but within 10 seconds of the restart the home team were allowed to snatch a crucial victory following some awfully na�ve defending.

Apart from the opening 25 minutes of the game, Royston had enough possession and control of the contest to have a big say on the final outcome, but they clearly lacked a cutting edge in the final third and when chances were created the home ‘keeper was rarely tested.

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Royston started the match sluggishly and Dunstable should have been two goals up in the opening 10 minutes after being gifted free headers from two set-plays. Paul Attfield’s team gradually improved and Kaan Fehmi, Lockett and Martin Standen all saw efforts miss the target as the half ended goalless.

Royston enjoyed the better possession after the interval, and despite finding themselves camped in Dunstable’s half for long spells, the OD’s dealt with near enough everything the Crows threw at them.

The way the game was going it was probably no surprise the hosts opened the scoring with their first venture forward of the half. A left-wing cross was deflected but Craig Butler did well to react quickest in the area, before volleying into the bottom corner from 10 yards. Will Norris in the Royston goal had little to do in the game but moments later the 18-year-old made a superb one-handed stop from a fierce shot from the edge of the area.

The final 20 minutes was dominated by Royston. In open play Kaan Fenmi had the best chance when he raced into the area with his angled drive beating the ‘keeper but not the excellent goal-line clearance of a defender. Lockett also saw his free-kick fly through a sea of bodies before rebounding off the post and away to safety.

It was a late set-play from Lockett, again, that saw Fehmi grab the equaliser with a close-range header in injury time, as the visitors looked to have secured a deserved point.

However, delight quickly turned to despair as within seconds of the restart Dunstable snatched a winner when striker Moses Olaleye broke through the middle, played the ball out wide before converting the resulting cross past Norris with no Royston challenge to be seen.

A remarkable end to the game and, with Dunstable Town gaining a 5-3 win at bottom of the table Holmer Green, the Crows’ lead at the top of the table is now just two points.

Royston Town: Norris, Apostolos, Grinham (Lawrence), McGrandles, Beck, Martin Standen, Edwards, Malins (Young), Kaan Fehmi, Matt Standen (Robins), Lockett.

Attendance: 106