Royston Town 1 AFC Dunstable 4 THE Crows season sank to a new low on Tuesday night as they were hammered by an AFC Dunstable side two leagues beneath them. And to make matters worse for boss Phil Snowden, he saw a second player in as many games sent off,
Royston Town 1 AFC Dunstable 4
THE Crows' season sank to a new low on Tuesday night as they were hammered by an AFC Dunstable side two leagues beneath them.
And to make matters worse for boss Phil Snowden, he saw a second player in as many games sent off, with the late dismissal of defender Allan Reid after a late tackle, and keeper Scott Statham was taken off injured midway through the second half.
Dunstable arrived at Garden Walk lying fourth in Division Two, with 10 points from their first five games, but such is the gulf in standard between the two leagues the Crows should easily have progressed to the second round.
Any hopes of a morale-boosting win for the home side were quickly dashed when James Levelle spent too long on the ball, allowing Burgess to nip in and slide his shot under Statham.
Things did not get any better for the Crows, with Reid being forced into a good saving tackle as McCarthy broke through the defence.
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The lead was doubled in the 24th minute when a fast-flowing move saw McCarthy cross the ball, with Doherty hitting a superb volley past a motionless Statham.
With Dunstable continuing to look like the Premier Division side, rather than Royston, they made it 3-0 on the half-hour mark, with a curling free-kick.
Statham chose to have only a two-man wall, and proceeded to stand directly behind it, allowing Doherty to curl the ball in at the far post.
McCarthy saw another shot saved by Statham, before Kojo Ofori managed Royston's first effort just before the break with a shot which the visiting keeper did well to push round the post.
Whatever Snowden said during the break appeared to do the trick, with Royston starting the second half well.
Within a minute of the restart they had pulled a goal back when Lavelle's shot took a wicked deflection and looped into the net
With Lavelle now pushed up front, the Crows proceeded to dominate the opening 20 minutes of the half, but they did not manage any shots on target and remained fragile at the back.
Lavelle and Reid both went into the referee's book as the game became increasingly heated, but with 18 minutes remaining the visitors effectively wrapped things up when, once again, the Crows failed to deal with a free-kick, leaving McCarthy to hook home his second effort of the night.
The Crows lost Statham four minutes later when he was clattered while trying to reach a cross, leaving midfielder Jason Nash - one of the few success stories of a dismal start to the season for Royston - to take the keeper's gloves.
There was still time for Dunstable substitute Smith to pick up two bookings in the space of 30 seconds, the first for a foul on the edge of the box and the second for arguing with the referee.
Reid joined him in the dressing room three minutes later when he collected a second yellow card for a foul, to complete a miserable night for the Crows.
# The next week sees the Crows face two games against sides struggling at the bottom of the table. On Saturday they visit Colney Heath while on Tuesday evening 17th placed Tring Athletic are the visitors.