Unbeaten run comes to an end for Crows

PUBLISHED: 15:04 19 December 2006 | UPDATED: 14:55 12 May 2010

THE Crows five match unbeaten run came to a halt on Saturday (December 16), with a controversial penalty decision and eight minutes of madness. Royston were left smarting, despite struggling to get to grips early on, and hardly getting a touch in the op

THE Crows' five match unbeaten run came to a halt on Saturday (December 16), with a controversial penalty decision and eight minutes of madness.

Royston were left smarting, despite struggling to get to grips early on, and hardly getting a touch in the opening 20 minutes.

The Crows gradually fought their way back into the match.

But their confidence was dashed when the referee awarded United a penalty on the half-hour mark.

Keeper Chris Chambers was more than a match for United's penalty taker, saving not one, but two kicks, after referee adjudged him to have moved to early for the initial penalty.

The double save gave Royston another boost, they started to play some nice neat football.

However, moments before half time they were rocked when they squandered possession in the United half.

A mistake by Carl Edwards led to a quick break-away and eventually a cool finish from a Harefield striker.

In the second half manager Phil Snowden changed formation, and switched to a 3-5-2 line-up.

Keeping the ball and disrupting their opponents rhythm, Royston's Dave McMurrough caused the home defence a number of problems with his pace.

And their hard work was rewarded when Allan Reid was fouled in the box, leaving the referee with no choice but to award another penalty.

With 10 minutes on the clock, last weeks penalty hero, Stuart Snowden stepped up.

And in a controversial manner, the Crows skipper saw his effort saved as United's keeper pushed his shot away.

Believing that the Harefield number one had - like Chambers in the first half - advanced from his line too early, the Royston players demanded a re-take, but this time the referee waved play on.

Then what followed can only be described as eight minutes of madness. Royston's heads dropped and Harefield began to score at will - rattling in another five goals in the closing minutes.

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