De La Salle nets late equaliser for Crows

Antonio Murray scores his first for the club

Antonio Murray scores his first for the club - Credit: Archant

Joe De La Salle scored an 94th minute equaliser to save Royston Town’s blushes as they let chances go begging in their draw with Northwood.

Joe De La Salle nets a late equaliser

Joe De La Salle nets a late equaliser - Credit: Archant

With Dunstable beating Rugby Town 3-0, a win could have seen caretaker boss Duncan Easley’s side leapfrog both team. Instead, Royston sit in fourth place, five points off top side Barton Rovers ahead of their clash on Saturday.

The contest with Northwood started brightly for Royston with Luke Robins causing problems. Then came the first chance of the game but Craig Hammond’s shot cleared the bar.

The hosts were left gasping with relief on eight minutes after a slip by Jack Bradshaw allowed the dangerous Niko Muir to nutmeg the defender but his low shot whistled past the upright.

The visitors were forced into an unwelcome change after Michael Murray pulled up with a hamstring problem. The Crows looked to capitalise on this misfortune when Ryan Ingrey fed Hammond but the striker launched his shot high over the bar.

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On the half-hour mark Royston were presented with another goalscoring chance but Robins’ shot fell tamely to Northwood’s 17-year-old custodian Danny McNicholas after Bradshaw had found him with a pin-point corner.

Northwood started to place their own pressure on proceedings with Joakim Ehui breaking free but his cross went far too deep for Muir.

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Just before the break Royston were indebted to the woodwork for keeping out George Nicholas when he looked certain to score and the half ended goalless.

The second half saw the visitors scream out of the blocks and another menacing attack from Muir resulted in Lewis Endacott turning the ball into his own net.

It was not only Royston that were guilty of missing chances. Muir should have doubled Northwood’s lead minutes later but he hesitated when well placed and Bradshaw dispossessed him.

With the Crows lacking ideas and resorting to direct tactics, Easley brought on Robbie Mason and Mitchell Bryant for Ingrey and Robins for the last 10 minutes.

The move paid off as Royston’s Murray hit the net, via a deflection, to level the game and score his first for the club.

Northwood’s reply was instantaneous and Muir got the goal he deserved as he reacted fastest after White’s shot crashed against the bar.

With 90 minutes nearly up, Craig Hammond’s blushes were saved by a offside flag after he missed an open goal.

With added time into the fourth minute it was left to De La Salle to save the Crows from a third successive home defeat as a free-kick into the area from Bradshaw found the defender who rose magnificently to head into the net to share the points.

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