Fehmi hat-trick seals fantastic comeback

Crows come from two goals down to seal win over Tring Athletic

Spartan South Midlands Premier Division

Royston Town 3-2 Tring Athletic

ROYSTON TOWN produced a stunning comeback to beat promotion rivals Tring Athletic on Saturday thanks to a second half hat-trick from striker Kaan Fehmi.

The Crows were two goals down after 59 minutes but three strikes in 11 minutes gave them a moral-boosting victory in front of 191 spectators at Garden Walk.

There was a return to the Royston squad for Luke Robins after his midweek transfer from Cambridge City but manager Paul Attfield elected to play the same team that started against Biggleswade United in Tuesday evening’s emphatic win.

The hosts started the better side and were getting particular joy with chipped balls behind the visiting defensive line. Tom Malins had one chance when his clever run saw him break free but his lob went tamely into the ‘keeper’s grasp. Another such through-ball found Ryan Lockett but he delayed his shot too long and the ‘keeper smothered close to goal.

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Despite Royston creating the better chances it was Tring who took the lead in the 29th minute when Graham Hall took advantage of poor concentration from a corner to head past Jorden Gibson.

Royston had an excellent chance to go into half time all square when they were awarded a penalty but Lockett put his spot-kick wide.

The second half didn’t start much better for Royston and Tring grew in confidence to make the game quite evenly matched. The game got quite scrappy, with the toiling heat clearly having an effect on some players in both sides. The game came to life midway through the half when Gibson made a fine save from a 20-yard effort but the ball fell to Steve King who fired home his team’s second.

Royston’s reaction came from the management who had seen enough and three attack-minded changes saw Josh Bronti, Robins and Carl Edwards replace Martin Standen, Lockett and Ricky Young. The reaction was instantaneous and within three minutes of Tring’s second goal, Royston had halved the deficit when Kaan Fehmi raced onto a through ball to round the ‘keeper and convert.

The crowd then witnessed a stunning comeback as the Crows were level four minutes later with an identical goal to their first with Fehmi rounding the ‘keeper.

The defining moment came with 12 minutes remaining. Tring were awarded a free-kick on the left, the delivery was good but the lack of marking again left wanting. The point blank header was superbly tipped onto the crossbar by Gibson with Bradshaw hacking away from the goal line moments before a forward got to the ball. The clearance set off a counter-attack with the overlapping Grinham going down in the area under a couple of innocuous challenges.

The referee deemed it enough for another penalty and Kaan Fehmi sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot to complete a superb hat-trick to spark off ecstatic celebrations.

Tring finished the game strongly but Royston were resolute in their defending to ensure a thrilling victory.

Royston Town: Gibson; Endacott, Grinham, McGrandles, Bradshaw; Martin Standen (Edwards), Collins, Malins, KFehmi; Lockett, (Bronti) Young, (Robins).