D�j�-vu for depleted Crows
Hanwell Town 1-1 Royston Town
ROYSTON TOWN suffered more late drama on Tuesday night as Hanwell scored an 86th minute equaliser to deny the Crows three points.
The game had an unfortunate sense of d�j�-vu about it, with Royston scoring first through in-form Paul Klein inside a minute, but they were unable to push on and eventually allowed their opponents back into the game to claim a draw. It was an all too familiar repeat of Saturday’s match against Biggleswade United as well as a few other encounters this season.
Royston Town only had 13 players available because of various reasons including illness, injuries, suspensions and other less valid excuses which left manager Paul Attfield with a dilemma that he answered with Ashley Grinham taking a centre back role and Martin Standen being pushed forward to play as a striker. The only substitutes were Matt Standen and a second goalkeeper in Jorden Gibson.
Royston started well and were a goal up inside a minute when young left-winger Klein scored his third goal in three games, volleying in a Ricky Young cross from three yards.
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Royston applied more pressure on the Hanwell goal with both Klein and Young doing good work on the wings and chances fell to Grinham and Ryan Lockett but their efforts were not on target.
All through the game Hanwell Town were winning cheap free-kicks in various positions on the pitch and, while they failed to convert them, this took the fluidity out of Royston’s game and stifled any consistent creative moves or real opportunities to take full control of the match.
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The half finished with a tricky run from Klein and his cross was met by a strong header from Martin Standen only to see his effort fly over the bar.
The second half was similar to the first in that Royston continued to press forward with good work down the wings and two early chances for Martin Standen were created. The first was put wide and the second, a header, hit the net only to be ruled out for offside.
However the plague of free-kicks continued and this helped Hanwell put together a period of pressure that saw the game stagnate and on 65 minutes Attfield played his only real card by swapping striker Lockett, who was struggling with tight hamstrings, for Matt Standen, dropping his brother Martin back into midfield and pushing the hard working Young up front.
A Royston free kick was delivered by ‘keeper Howard, won well by Martin Standen in the air and Young’s snap-shot was well saved.
Hanwell put on two substitutes of their own to try and up the pressure for an equaliser and the Royston defence creaked a bit leaving themselves exposed on at least two occasions.
On 85 minutes a free kick was conceded on the edge of the Royston box and with Luke Howard down injured with ankle problems the game was halted. After a period of treatment he was replaced by Gibson and his first contribution was to make a superb save from the well-struck free kick from Hanwell top scorer Blaise O’Brien, bravely blocking the shot away for a corner.
The resulting corner was sent over to the back post and Hanwell substitute Karl Powell hit it on the half volley finding the back of the net for a deserved equaliser.
Royston reacted well with some late attacks producing chances for Matt Standen, whose shot went straight at the ‘keeper, and a gilt-edged chance for Grinham only to see his header go wide when it looked easier to score.
Once again this season Royston had failed to finish their opponents off despite creating many scoring opportunities. They have paid the price of this by dropping too many valuable points against teams that, on paper, they should be beating.
Royston Town (4-4-2): Howard (Gibson), Endacott, Grinham, Cain, Apostolos, Edwards, Collins (c), Young, Klein, Lockett (Matt Standen), Martin Standen.
Man of the Match: Carl Edwards