Opportunity knocks

PUBLISHED: 13:57 13 September 2007 | UPDATED: 15:14 12 May 2010

Royston marksman Lee Rogers and FC Clacton scorer Ashley Pereira tussle for possession – Pic: Dick Harding

Royston marksman Lee Rogers and FC Clacton scorer Ashley Pereira tussle for possession – Pic: Dick Harding

Royston Town 2 Rogers 30, Ndombe 82 FC Clacton 1 Pereira 16 IT took a moment of opportunism for Royston Town to ensure passage into the next round of the FA Vase. Sebastian Ndombe had been ordered to harass and irritate FC Clacton. In the end he exaspera

Royston Town 2 Rogers 30, Ndombe 82

FC Clacton 1 Pereira 16

IT took a moment of opportunism for Royston Town to ensure passage into the next round of the FA Vase.

Sebastian Ndombe had been ordered to harass and irritate FC Clacton.

In the end he exasperated his opponents when he struck in the 82nd minute to give the Crows a deserved 2-1 win in this FA Vase First Qualifying Round clash at Garden Walk on Saturday.

Ndombe had been operating as the lone striker, and when Rob Gwynne unleashed a speculative shot, the tall striker pounced to score as Clacton keeper Craig Ralton saw the ball rebound from his grasp.

Indeed Ralton, who was making his debut after signing for Clacton from Long Melford, had already been responsible for an error when Lee Rogers equalised for the Crows in the 30th minute.

Then the Crows' captain had taken his time on working out the angles for a free-kick and sent a brutal shot from outside the penalty area through Ralton's hands.

While Ralton was making mistakes, it was the Crows keeper James Scott who did as much as anyone else in giving his side the chance for FA Vase glory.

In one particular moment he contrived to save a point-blank drive from Ashley Pereira, and then reacted with remarkable prowess to clear the ball from the line.

Scott's heroics proved to be the turning point, as two minutes later the Crows had taken the lead when Ndombe struck.

Although it could have been different.

In the 43rd minutes the Crows managed to contrive a move of pure quality when passing between Rogers and Matt Hayden ended with Graham Tibbals seeing his header re-bound from the crossbar.

There were times, however, when the Crows came under pressure.

But the strength and ability of Stuart Snowden, Allan Reid, and Michael Baker in defence has helped to make the side look more solid, although Reid's more robust approach did see him and Clacton's Gregg Heighway both booked in the second-half.

Although Reid was a victim, too, when an elbow caused a heavy bruise under his right eye.

Clacton had, at times, looked dangerous, but once the ever-active Pereira had been subdued, the Crows looked the more likely to make progress in the competition.

To recover after Pereira had struck in the 16th minute showed the side, at least, had spirit.

Now it needs to demonstrate self-belief and desire.

This may have been a statement of intent but, as we all know, a season is not just one game.

Royston Town: Scott - Chappell, Gwynne, Snowden (Bloss), Reid, Baker, Hayden, Edwards, Ndombe (Adu Donyihan), Rogers, Tibbals.

FC Clacton: Ralton - Gibson, Saggers, Preston, Heighway, Taylor, Pereira, Hollier, Craven, White (K Coyle), Dunkley.

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