Dance double downs Boro

Royston Town 2-0 Haringey Borough

A BRACE from striker Bobby Dance gave Royston Town all three points against Haringey Borough on Tuesday night and their fourth win in a row in all competitions.

The match wasn’t as straight forward as the result suggests as a technically good Boro played their part in what was a fairly scrappy match on an equally scrappy playing surface at Garden Walk.

Royston looked sharper than the visitors in the final third, though, and a goal either side of the break from Dance proved the difference on the night.

The Crows started by far the brighter team and they should have been two goals up within the first 15 minutes. Firstly, a threaded through-ball released Carl Edwards clean on goal after breaking from midfield only for the Haringey defender to make up the ground and force Edwards to put his shot just wide.

And a minute later the visitors had their goalkeeper to thank for pulling off a superb point-blank save to stop Ryan Lockett’s header from Tom Malins’ left-wing cross hitting the back of the net.

Royston largely dominated the first period but they were almost punished for a brief lapse in concentration at the back when a Boro striker broke a flaky offside trap only to be thwarted by ‘keeper Jorden Gibson. It was good decision making from Gibson who got down well to deny the striker but the hesitant Boro man really should have done better.

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The visitors thought they had taken the lead on 31 minutes when a cross from the left was volleyed past Gibson into the corner of the net. However, to Royston’s relief the linesman had already raised his flag to signal the striker was offside.

Royston eventually went ahead four minutes later when Lockett collected a throw-in in the Boro penalty and supplied Dance who took it past a defender before seeing his low shot trickle through the ‘keeper’s hands and into the net.

The Crows players were incensed five minutes before half time, though, when the referee, who went on to make a number of baffling decisions throughout the match, somehow failed to award a penalty when Malins was clearly brought down in the box after a neat through-ball from Ashley Grinham.

But Royston will feel justice was served five minutes after the break as they were able to put daylight between themselves and the visitors with a penalty after Malins was bundled over in the box by the Boro ‘keeper. Dance stepped up to calmly slot the ball into the bottom corner.

Grinham had a great chance to make it three just after the hour-mark when Malins produced a hanging far post cross from the right, but the left-back’s header was well tipped over by the ‘keeper. The Boro stopper had hardly covered himself in glory after being at fault for both Royston goals but he did well on a number of occasions to deny the home team adding further goals to their tally.

Royston were content to sit back and play on the counter attack for the final 15 minutes as the visitors looked to pull a goal back. However they found the Crows defence, in particular David Cain and John McGrandles, in fine form and a third league clean sheet in a row was preserved after the referee called time on the match.

This wasn’t the prettiest of wins by any stretch but that can largely be put down to the sticky playing surface which was in no way conducive to playing neat passing football.

They now have to wait until January 29 until their next fixture when they take on Holmer Green at Garden Walk.

Royston Town (4-4-2): Gibson, Whittaker, Cain, McGrandles, Grinham, Collins (c) (Young 64), Edwards, Martin Standen, Malins, Lockett, Dance (Brinkman 88).