End of the line for Vase dream
Royston Town 0 Ipswich Wanderers 2 ROYSTON S FA Vase run came crashing to a halt on Saturday as Ipswich Wanderers did just enough to ruin new manager Paul Attfield s first game in charge. The competition has been somewhat of a lifeline to the Crows, wi
Royston Town 0
Ipswich Wanderers 2
ROYSTON'S FA Vase run came crashing to a halt on Saturday as Ipswich Wanderers did just enough to ruin new manager Paul Attfield's first game in charge.
The competition has been somewhat of a lifeline to the Crows, with their disappointing league results cushioned by their stirring performances in the cup.
And on Saturday they were expected to deliver once more, with the pace and determination of Graham Tibbals and Dave McMurrough surely too much to handle for a defence that had conceded 66 goals in 17 league games.
But with Attfield making a number of changes, McMurrough started on the bench with Brett Purkiss playing behind Tibbals in attack.
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Allan Reid was moved into midfield alongside Eddie Julu, with Richard Lowden and Chris Geldart occupying the flanks. There was also the Garden Walk return of centre-back Jim Hollingsworth, and he looked steady in tandem with David Daniels.
But out of all the adjustments, it was new captain Allan Reid, who looked the most assured, with his tenacious tackling and strength on the ball the foundation of every early Royston attack.
And it was his powerful header that almost opened the game's account when he forced Wanderers keeper Gary Hammond to make a good save following Geldart's in-swinging corner after 10 minutes.
Vase hero Tibbals then went even closer moments later when another in-swinging cross stretched the Ipswich backline.
And after half-an-hour of play, Royston were very much on top, with Ipswich's brief moments on the attack coming from the cultured left foot of full-back Curtis Haynes-Brown.
Just before half time, Tibbals again went close following a Richard Lowden cross, before the striker returned the favour only for Lowden to end the half with a tame close-range strike.
Minutes into the second half Daniel Allen had a goal disallowed for offside after a great pass from Haynes-Brown, and at this point it seemed Ipswich had something to offer after all.
Perhaps their early display had been affected by their shock at not conceding a first-half goal, a feat that has taken them all season.
And they were handed a breakthrough after 56 minutes, when Peter Chappell was adjudged to have pulled back Lewis Culf.
And when the referee pointed to the spot, Lewis Driver made no mistake, sending Sam Booth the wrong way with a calm finish.
Ipswich then added a second four minutes later, with a goal that effectively killed Royston's chances.
This time Allen checked the line before he powered home an angled drive from the corner of the box.
In a last throw of the dice, Attfield switched to a 3-4-3 formation, and introduced forwards Nathan Davenport, Adam Stokes, and McMurrough, who took the unfamiliar surroundings of right-wing-back in his stride.
However, their introduction made no immediate impact as the Ipswich defence held firm.
Eventually the Crows seemingly ran out of ideas, and even their famous final 15 minute furore, which has served them so well in the past, lacked conviction.
Royston president Alan Barlow said: "I thought we played quite well in the first half, but for some reason we never really got going after half-time.
"I'm not sure if that's because they got stronger, or we got weaker!
"I didn't think there was much in it, but perhaps we could have shown a bit more up front.
"We didn't really compete as much as we could, and certainly needed a bit more going forward.
"It's obviously a disappointment to go out, but now we can concentrate on the league and get a bit of stability going, and that starts by moving up the table.
"And hopefully that can start on Saturday because I think the game with Sun Postal Sports will be a good opportunity to do that."
Royston Town: Booth; Bloss, Chappell, Daniels, Hollingsworth; Reid, Julu, Lowden, Geldart; Purkiss; Tibbals. (Subs): Stokes, Davenport, McMurrough.