Saggers sick as Crows nosedive

PUBLISHED: 10:16 23 February 2006 | UPDATED: 14:35 12 May 2010

Carlo Silenti is in the thick of it

Carlo Silenti is in the thick of it

Royston Town 1 Holmer Green 4 CROWS boss Mark Saggers could not hide his frustration after his side crashed at home against bogey side Holmer Green on Saturday. Royston have now taken only one point from their last eight games against Green, despite the

Jez McMurrough after his equaliser

Royston Town 1 Holmer Green 4 CROWS boss Mark Saggers could not hide his frustration after his side crashed at home against bogey side Holmer Green on Saturday. Royston have now taken only one point from their last eight games against Green, despite the Berkshire club finishing bottom of the table twice during that period. "It's very frustrating for me and Brian [Cannon] that the players don't do the simple things we ask for," said Saggers. "When you look at the game sensibly, we weren't under any pressure. They scored the first from a dodgy penalty, and the other three goals were all as a result of poor marking at free kicks. Other than that, they never really hurt us. They are in the top half of the table, but they aren't better than us. "It's just that we keep making the wrong decisions in the wrong places, and that's killing us. We really must improve on that." Having seen his side benefit from some bizarre refereeing decisions in the previous Tuesday's win against Oxhey Jets, Saggers was again left fuming at the referee following two contentious incidents in the penalty box: "The linesman said that it wasn't a penalty, but when we finally got the referee to speak to him he said the opposite, while Jez McMurrough was clearly shoved in the back with both hands later in the game and nothing was given. "We had a lot of decisions go in our favour against Oxhey, but it seems that in all the other games, everything goes to the opposition. You begin to question why in the end." The visitors took the lead just before the half-hour mark when White was harshly judged to have fouled a forward in the box, and Green converted the penalty. The home side levelled five minutes later when McMurrough headed home from the cross on the left. However Green regained the lead just before the break when poor marking allowed a forward to fire home, and two virtually identical strikes in the 10 minutes after half-time saw Green sew up their seventh straight win. The Crows remain eight points clear of the relegation zone, but with second-from-bottom Harpenden having collected seven points from their last three games, Saggers' team will travel to fellow strugglers Langford in need of a victory. They will be without midfielder Jason Nash and goalkeeper Barry White due to work commitments, and it is the loss of White which is causing Saggers most concern. Richard Barlow, who stood in during White's five-week suspension, is unavailable as he is going on a coaching course, and the Royston boss has until Thursday evening to find a replacement for a player who has arguably been the Crows' most consistent performer this season. - There was no joy for the Crows' reserve side, either, as they went down 2-0 at Old Bradwell United. They host Risborough Rangers Reserves on Saturday. Royston Town Vets 3 Cambridge Vets 2 A last-minute disputed winner from Kevin Barthrop took the edge off the return of Monday night Vets football to Garden Walk against Town's old friends from Cambridge, in a game that Royston should have won at a canter. Dave Cooper made a return for the hosts, partnering Mark King in the centre of defence in the absence of Town's defensive stalwarts Brian Cannon and Kevin Flack. The visitors had a number of familiar faces in their line up including Trevor George, David Bradford and Jamie Gribble in goal. The first 20 minutes was one-way traffic as Town did everything but score, let down by some woeful finishing, which failed to trouble keeper Gribble. Against the run of play, Cambridge took the lead, to the surprise of a large home crowd. Town lost the ball in midfield and the 49-year-old George outpaced elder statesman Mike Jackson, before unleashing a 25-yarder, which Merv Chaffey was disappointed to let slip through. With Town looking as if they were never going to score, missing chance after chance, Gribble was having some good fortune, as well as making several good saves, Cambridge forced a corner on a rare attack. From this Kevin Diver hit an unstoppable 25-yard volley into the top corner, this time giving Chaffey no chance. Barthrop pulled one back for Town just before half time, sensibly taking his time, before picking his spot in the top right-hand corner. The second half was mainly one-way traffic. Richard Harris saw a drive hit the post and rebound across the goal, Gribble was forced into several fine saves, although it was really a case of Town not really firing on all cylinders, several chances also went begging. The introduction of debutant Paul Little in the centre of the defence brought some quality and finesse to the Town defence but elsewhere, with Cambridge defending resolutely, it looked to be one of those nights when the ball just would not go in the back of the net. It took a fine piece of skilful finishing from Simon Lewis to finally bring the scores level, some 10 minutes from time. The winner came deep into injury time when Barthrop slammed in his second goal, and the referee overruled the linesman who had been flagging for offside with what was the last kick of the game. A narrow victory for Town after a four-week break, with manager Terry Gore looking for his team to return to their flowing football. - On Sunday Town are at home to the Fox and Duck Vets from neighbouring Therfield, kick off is 10.30am at Garden Walk.

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