Familiar story as Crows suffer another cup defeat

Royston Town 2 (Brinkman 27, Robins 45) St Margaretsbury 3 (McGuiness 50, 88, Rudkin 67)

IT’S become an all too familiar scenario this season.

Royston Town, cruising their way to victory after going into half time two goals up, then go and throw it all away in the second half – with the winner coming moments before the end just to rub salt into the wounds.

It had all started so well when striker George Brinkman gave Paul Attfield’s side the lead midway through the first half before Luke Robins had looked to have sealed Royston’s path through to the second round with a goal on the stroke of half time.

However, they completely caved after the break and there seemed an air of inevitability about St Margaretsbury’s winning goal before it duly arrived in the 88th minute to send the Crows crashing out of their fifth cup competition of the season.

To be fair, Attfield was forced to name an unfamiliar back-line for the match owing to injuries and suspensions before then losing experienced centre-half David Cain to injury in the first half which arguably had a large part to play in this defeat.

The Crows now go into Saturday’s important FA Vase match against Leiston on the back of two disappointing defeats and Attfield’s words on Monday saying his team will need to ‘pull something out of the bag’ are now ringing truer than ever.

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Royston started brightly against the Bury and they nearly went ahead after 10 minutes when Josh Bronti’s cross was met with a fine header from Robins only for the ball to cannon back off the far post.

They had an even better chance to take the lead two minutes later when George Brinkman was put clean through on goal after great play from Ricky Young but the striker was thwarted by the goalkeeper from close range when he really should have done better.

He made amends on 27 minutes, though, after being put through on goal again by Bronti before calmly slotting the ball into the bottom corner from 15 yards.

The match then looked to have been wrapped up in first half stoppage time when Robins smashed a superb 25-yard free kick into the top corner that went in off the upright.

Lewis Endacott was introduced at half time to replace the injured Cain and it was the second time in three matches the right-back found himself in the middle of defence.

Brinkman was desperately unlucky early in the second half when he was again put through on goal, this time by Robins, only to lose his footing at the vital moment and the chance was lost.

And they were made to pay almost instantly as a long ball up field was left to bounce by Endacott and Bury striker Scott McGuiness gladly nipped in to slip the ball past substitute ‘keeper Lee Robinson.

The visitors suddenly sprung into life and looked far more threatening than they had done in the first half.

The equaliser came in the 67th minute with a truly great strike. Royston could only clear a corner to the edge of the area to the waiting Joe Rudkin who hit a superb half volley into the top corner giving Robinson no chance whatsoever.

From then on it was all St Margaretsbury as the visitors sensed victory. Royston just couldn’t string three passes together and they were backs to the wall for the final 20 minutes.

However, the winner arrived two minutes from time when a straight forward corner into the six-yard box was simply nodded home by McGuiness for his second of the match. It was a poor goal to concede from Royston’s point of view and one which summed up a disappointing night for the team.

Royston Town: Howard (Robinson 35), Apostolos, Cain (Endacott 45), Cannon, Hone, Bronti (Lamacraft 66), Edwards, Welch, Robins, Young, Brinkman.