Crows through to FA Cup Preliminary Round after win

Manager Attfield pleased after display at Hullbridge

FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

Hullbridge Sports1

Royston Town 3

ROYSTON Town progressed to the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup after overcoming Hullbridge Sports on Saturday.

Despite being a goal down at half time in Essex, strikes from Jack Bradshaw, Jason Beck and Tom Malins set up a tie away to Romford in the next round – much to the delight of manager Paul Attfield who was pleased with his side’s second half display.

“Our attacking game lacked spark and imagination in the first half and we genuinely found it tough to get any sort of rhythm in our game,” Attfield said. “This was compounded further by the award of a harsh penalty and then you fear the worst.

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“The second half was completely different, though. We pressed the opposition all over the pitch and moved the ball quicker and just those two elements made it comfortable for us in the end and we could have quite easily added three or four more goals.

“We must remember how we have won our opening games and enforce those qualities at the start of every game.”

Attfield was without a number of players for the tie with Martin Standen, John McGrandles and Tom Whitaker all out injured while Matt Standen and Rhys Lawrence were away on holiday.

Royston endured a frustrating first half in which they saw plenty of the ball but were never quite sharp enough in the attacking third to break the deadlock.

Ryan Lockett and Young both missed decent chances to put the Crows ahead but against the run of play Hullbridge found themselves a goal up just before half time through a penalty after Bradshaw was adjudged to have fouled.

Despite the goal and half time deficit, it was obvious that a step up in quality from the visitors would cause problems and the half time interval proved a good respite for the side as they returned with great vigour and a different gear of pace and quality that completely overwhelmed their opponents.

In the first minute a free kick wasn’t cleared and Bradshaw sent an angled volley from 15 yards against the top of the post. This was a sign of things to follow as just a few minutes later a purposeful run into the box from Kaan Fehmi saw him skip past two players and pull the ball back for Young who converted from six yards.

The woodwork came to the host’s rescue twice again in the next 10 minutes with efforts from Young an Lockett striking different uprights before the lead was taken on 60 minutes when Beck rose unchallenged to power home a header from Lockett’s corner from 10 yards.

By now Royston were firmly in control and further chances and half chances were created and squandered but the quality of Town’s game was far more extensive to that in the first half. The scoreline was deservedly added to with 10 minutes remaining when Tom Malins raced onto a long ball and lobbed the ‘keeper before volleying into a empty net from 10 yards. This goal secured the victory and a tie with Step Four non league opposition in two week’s time.

Royston Town: Gibson, Endacott, Grinham (A Fehmi), Bradshaw, Beck, Collins Edwards, Malins, K Fehmi (OBrien), Lockett, Young.

Subs not used: Howard Cain