Defeated but Crows are Phil of promise
ROYSTON TOWN 1 (M Farrell) CAMBRIDGE CITY 2 (D Lynch 2) THERE were plenty of positives for new boss Phil Snowden despite the Crows defeat on Tuesday evening. His team matched their Conference South opponents for long spells of Snowden s first home game
ROYSTON TOWN 1
CAMBRIDGE CITY 2
(D Lynch 2)
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THERE were plenty of positives for new boss Phil Snowden despite the Crows' defeat on Tuesday evening.
His team matched their Conference South opponents for long spells of Snowden's first home game in charge.
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The only disappointment for the new-look Crows was the late dismissal of promising midfielder Kojo Ofori for a head-butt on Craig Pope.
The only chance of a quiet opening 25 minutes saw home keeper Russell Jones tip a free-kick from Greg Lincoln wide.
The visitors, who are in a state of transition after losing much of the squad who helped them finish runners-up in Conference South last season, tested the Crows' offside trap all evening with some darting runs.
They took a 26th-minute lead when Mark Graham outpaced them down the right and crossed from the bye-line for Darren Lynch to convert at the far post.
The hosts also looked good attacking down the flanks, but with no recognised centre forward, the crosses from Chris Geldart and Ofori were repeatedly wasted.
A good start to the second half saw the Crows level in the 61st minute when a left-wing cross from Ofori was scuffed by Mark Farrell with substitute keeper Alan Carlton somehow letting the ball squeeze under his body.
Within four minutes, City had grabbed the winner. A long ball down the right was collected by Darren Lynch, and after Jones appeared to have taken him too wide in the box, the Royston keeper went to ground too early, allowing Lynch to fire home from an acute angle.
Ofori saw red with 11 minutes remaining when he was clattered from behind by Pope after he had fouled Lewis Baillie.
As the two players squared up, Ofori butted Pope under his eye, leaving referee Sean Comerford little option but to dismiss him - although Pope should have been at least spoken to for the earlier push.
That ended any real chance the Crows had of taking something from the game, but Snowden should be encouraged by a good performance, especially in defence.
- The Crows travel to United Counties League side St Ives Town for a friendly on Saturday, while the reserves host Stotford Reserves.
On Tuesday evening, Royston travel to Sawbridgeworth Town in the Herts Charity Shield first round.
- The Crows will open their Spartan South Midlands League season on Tuesday, August 22 with a visit to Haringey Borough.
The east London side struggled last season, finishing 19th in the 20-team league, one place behind Royston.
Snowden's team will then travel to London Colney the following Saturday where they will face a team who finished 14th last season.
The month is rounded off by a home game against league newcomers Kingsbury London Tigers, who have transferred from the now defunct Ryman League Division Two, having finished 12th in the 16-team division last season.
Prior to the first league game, the Crows will face Ridgeons League Harwich & Parkeston in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup on Saturday, August 19.