Fehmi strike seals win at Hillingdon

Crows maintain lead at top

Hillingdon Borough 0

Royston Town 1

Spartan South Midlands Premier

ROYSTON TOWN made a winning return to league action on Saturday with a narrow win away at Hillingdon Borough – despite having Warren Plowright sent off late on.

A Kaan Fehmi strike just before half time proved the difference between the two sides as Paul Attfield’s side maintained their five-point lead over second placed Leverstock Green, who have played a game more than the Crows.

Royston hadn’t played a league fixture since October 15, having since played in four different cup competitions – most recently as last Tuesday when they beat Hillingdon in Premier Division Cup.

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The bumpy pitch and swirling wind didn’t help the fluency of the game but, while the hosts had spells of long possession in the first half, they failed to create a clear opening and it was the visitors who enjoyed the best moments.

After an initial sparring period Royston worked hard to hit their hosts on the counter-attack. It took until midway through the half to create a clear opening but it should have resulted in a goal. A quick switch of play from Martin Standen after a home move broke down released Lewis Endacott who played in Ricky Young but the winger’s effort hit the side netting.

Kaan Fehmi was becoming more prominent as the half wore on and he had a couple of chances to score before he eventually found the net in the 42nd minute.

Good work from Endacott and Tom Malins down the right opened up the home team and a through ball down the channel was latched onto by Dalton O’Brien who crossed from the goal line for Kaan Fehmi to sweep into the net unmarked from 10 yards.

The hosts began to get on top of the game in the second half and Royston had to deal with several well-delivered crosses. Royston’s young goalkeeper Will Norris – whose handling was impeccable throughout – was called upon to make two diving saves on his way to a fifth consecutive clean sheet in the league.

The referee began awarding some baffling yellow cards and missed some obvious infringements which especially frustrated the Crows. The main talking point came with 10 minutes remaining when Plowright was sent off after a heavy, but seemingly fair, challenge for the ball in the centre of the pitch. The official saw it as a foul and a second yellow card forced Royston to reshuffle and see out the remainder of the game.

Hillingdon couldn’t find a way past the determined Royston defence as the visitors held on for the win.

Royston Town: Norris, Endacott, A Fehmi, McGrandles, Beck, Martin Standen, Plowright, Young (Clemo), Kaan Fehmi (Bradshaw), O’Brien (MattStanden), Malins.