Early season form has cost us - Attfield

Crows boss reflects on his team’s inconsistencies this term

CROWS boss Paul Attfield says his team’s early-season inconsistency is the factor that looks likely to put paid to any ambitions of promotion this term.

Royston have enjoyed a decent run of form since Christmas having won six of their 10 league matches while losing three and drawing one – including Saturday’s home defeat to Aylesbury United.

Hopes of promotion were high back in August as they won all of their opening five games, but promising runs of form have too often been punctured by puzzling defeats which ultimately look like leading to another season of being the nearly men, with Chalfont St Peter showing little sign of throwing away their advantage at the top of the table.

“It’s definitely Chalfont’s to lose,” said Attfield.

“I said earlier in the season that we could only apply our own pressure by winning games but one point from our last two games is not exactly applying pressure.

“We lost too many points earlier on in the season and we were too inconsistent. Since Christmas we’ve been a lot better and we’ve looked stronger after bringing in a few players.

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“But we have to look back at those first few months of the season and say that’s where the damage was done.

“Also, the injuries we’ve had came at the wrong time. We lost Luke Robins (to Cambridge City) and Tom Malins has been injured while Josh Bronti was released so we’ve suffered with no natural width at times.”

Attfield was unsurprisingly disappointed after losing to Aylesbury on Saturday – only their second defeat since January 3 – but he still feels his players performed well.

“Aylesbury came with a gameplan by getting men behind the ball and sticking one man up top and it worked for them,” he added.

“I thought we were too long-ball orientated in the first half but we missed three good chances and you can’t afford to do that in tight games. The longer the match went on we pushed forward and we got caught on the break for their second goal.

“If you lose after playing badly you hold your hands up, but I wasn’t unhappy with our performance. The first goal was disappointing because we worked on set pieces after the previous game, but overall I thought we played well.”

The Crows now face three games in six days, starting tonight (Thursday) away at Dunstable Town, and Attfield hopes his team can get back to winning ways at the first attempt.

“Dunstable played on Tuesday night and they haven’t got a reserve team so I’m hoping that might have taken something out of them,” he said.

“However we haven’t exactly got plenty of options ourselves so it will be a testing game as they’ve always been a good side.”

Bobby Dance looks likely to make a return for the match after completing his recent three-match suspension.