Relegation gloom for Crows despite victory

PUBLISHED: 13:02 03 May 2007 | UPDATED: 15:05 12 May 2010

Royston players trudge off the pitch after their relegation is confirmed – Pics: Daniel Wilson

Royston players trudge off the pitch after their relegation is confirmed - Pics: Daniel Wilson

ROYSTON TOWN 5 (J McMurrough, A Reid, S Snowden, G Tibbals (2) HARINGEY BOROUGH 1 (C Perifmou) IT was all too little too late for the Crows. Phil Snowden s team finished a dismal campaign with their biggest win of the season - a third successive victory

Crows skipper Stuart Snowden after Saturday’s 5-1 victory

ROYSTON TOWN 5

(J McMurrough, A Reid,

S Snowden, G Tibbals (2)

HARINGEY BOROUGH 1

(C Perifmou)

IT was all too little too late for the Crows.

Phil Snowden's team finished a dismal campaign with their biggest win of the season - a third successive victory - but it was still not enough to prevent them finishing in the Spartan South Midlands League relegation zone.

Snowden's team started the season with a 7-1 hammering at London Colney, and they never really recovered. They went on to concede seven goals on two further occasions, eight twice, and six in three league games.

Ultimately, having conceded 117 goals in 40 games, their goal difference consigned them to a place in the bottom two of the table - and relegation to Division One.

Their only realistic hope of a reprieve lies with a reorganisation of non league football.

Up to four sides from the next level above the Spartan League - the regional first divisions of the Isthmian and Southern Leagues - are eligible for relegation, and if two or more end up in the Spartan League the Crows will go down.

Berkhamsted Town, Hanwell Town and Beaconsfield SYCOB are all due to be relegated from the Southern League, while Flackwell Heath come down from the Isthmian League.

The Crows' only realistic hope is that, in their desire to create a second regional first division in the Northern Premier League, the Football Association cancels relegation from the Isthmian and Southern Leagues this season.

However, the Northern Premier League is reluctant to see its boundaries move southwards, and seems set to opt for smaller first divisions.

Relegation also means that the Crows are not eligible for the FA Cup next season, removing the chance of a lucrative tie against a Conference side.

With both teams needing a victory to avoid the drop it was Royston who started strongly and they took an 11th minute lead when Allan Reid powered the ball home.

It was 2-0 on the half-hour mark, when Graham Tibbals headed past the Borough keeper.

Chris Perifimou pulled back a goal for the north London side shortly before the break, following a mistake by Lee Rogers.

But Tibbals scored again nine minutes into the second half as the Crows regained their two-goal advantage.

Jez McMurrough made it 4-1 with 20 minutes remaining, before skipper Stuart Snowden converted from the spot in the 81st minute after a foul on Reid.

Having done enough to consign Borough to the bottom of the table and gain revenge for their 5-1 defeat at White Hart Lane in November, the Crows then faced an anxious wait as they hoped to hear that Holmer Green had lost at Chalfont St Peter.

But the news that Green had forced a goalless draw against their neighbours means the Crows face a season in Division One.

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