Gallery: Crows bow out of FA Cup
ROYSTON TOWN 2 HENDON 4 ROYSTON Town s quest for FA Cup glory came to an end at Garden Walk on Saturday. But it may have been different. For the opening 45 minutes there was a lack of adventure about The Crows, but in second-half there came a vast impr
ROYSTON TOWN 2 HENDON 4
ROYSTON Town's quest for FA Cup glory came to an end at Garden Walk on Saturday.
But it may have been different.
For the opening 45 minutes there was a lack of adventure about The Crows, but in second-half there came a vast improvement which created worrying moments for Hendon, the Ryman League side.
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This may have been due to the introduction of Craig Hammond - he had been left on the bench along with his strike partner Ryan Lockett - who has the potential and the goal-scoring acumen to lift the side.
Certainly, in the second-half The Crows looked more dangerous - but the damage had already been done as Hendon took a 3-0 lead by half-time.
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It may seem impressive, but Hendon did not look a side which was playing each week at a much higher level than The Crows.
In spite of taking a 3-0 lead there was often something ponderous about their approach work and a lack of creativity from a side of which more could have been expected.
This, however, was the FA Cup and we have seen in past that the mighty are not always immune to the shock treatment.
This, however, was not the case on Saturday as The Crows rarely threatened during the first-half.
This was in spite of captain of the day Conor de Lacy attempting to inspire his side through his workmanlike.
The large crowd were given a warning of Hendon's attacking prowess in the opening minutes when Kaylan Kaliphs shot just wide and then Crows keeper Richard Barlow had to be alert when Sam Byfield attempted to curl a free-kick into the net from outside the penalty area.
The inevitable happened in the 14th minute when a shot from Byfield re-bounded to Charlie Mapes, who simply placed the ball into the net.
And 23 minutes later Mapes added a second when he curled a free-kick from outside the penalty area over a defensive wall and into the corner of the net.
Five minutes before half-time, Lubomir Guentchev - the son of Bulgaria World Cup player Bontcho Guentchev, who is now on the Hendon coaching staff - twisted through to score.
From the start of the second-half Hammond replaced Ross Collins in the Crows' attack and suddenly there was more purpose and potential about Royston's movements.
It could have been short-lived when Jamie Busby extended Hendon's lead in the 55th minute.
But the Crows discovered a more potent attacking vein which in the 65th minute saw the quick-thinking Hammond take an indirect free-kick which Kirby directed into his own net.
Five minutes later Robins went on a weaving run from just inside Hendon's half, and after leaving half-a-dozen players in his wake clinically put the ball home.
In the last two minutes a reckless tackle by Busby on Endacott saw the Hendon player receive a red card from referee Ron James, and the Royston defender being carried from the pitch.
In spite of the protests from the Hendon bench it was the kind of tackle which was viciously dangerous and deserved Mr James's action.
Royston Town: Barlow; Endacott, Debnam, Babbage, Cain, De Lacy, Edwards, Malins, Turl, Collins, Robins. Subs: Hammond, Lockett, Young, Welch, Jackson, Wright, Gibson.