Goal-shy Crows left to rue fourth cup exit of the season

Missed chances cost crows a spot in next round of cup

FOOTBALL is often described as a funny old game.

But there was certainly no laughter coming from the Royston dugout on Tuesday night as Paul Attfield’s side were knocked out of their fourth cup competition of the season away at Kingsbury London Tigers.

In truth, this was not a bad Crows performance by any stretch, but their inability to put away chance after chance in front of goal in recent weeks is starting to take its toll on a season which had started so well.

They didn’t get off to the best of starts and were behind after just eight minutes before restoring parity just after the half-hour mark through new striker Tom Haynes. However, they were not able to push on from this and Kingsbury scored their second goal on 68 minutes before sealing their passage to the next round a minute before the end to leave Attfield and the players contemplating another defeat.

Poor officiating was a constant theme throughout this encounter and, had it not been for the linesman’s flag, Royston would have found themselves 1-0 to the good after just five minutes when striker George Brinkman found the net only to be deemed offside following Josh Bronti’s header which was parried by the Tigers ‘keeper.

This seemed to spur the home side into life as they took the lead minutes later after the Crows defence gifted the Tigers striker time and space to rifle a 20-yard shot that was well tipped onto the post by ‘keeper Luke Howard only for the ball to fall kindly to the onrushing Paulius Olisauskas who tapped the ball into the open net.

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Bronti was guilty of missing a great chance to equalise shortly afterwards after cutting in brilliantly from the left but his shot from just inside the area flew just wide of the mark.

Kingsbury nearly doubled their lead after 15 minutes with a shot from an acute angle which struck the crossbar, but the Crows held on and grabbed the equaliser on 32 minutes when Bronti’s teasing delivery across the face of goal was tapped home by former Slough Town striker Haynes.

Royston started the second half with greater purpose and should have gone in front just before the hour but Brinkman could not convert Bronti’s pinpoint centre.

And they went even closer a minute later when substitute Ross Collins was desperately unlucky to see his 25-yard effort crash against the upright.

Royston were left to rue their wastefulness on 68 minutes when Kingsbury’s D Sojalo scored from close range after Howard parried a deflected free kick. All 15 of those in attendance could see the referee should never have blown for a foul on the edge of the area following Conor Delacy’s superb sliding tackle and it was a decision that ultimately cost Royston the match.

Attfield threw caution to the wind as he urged his players forward in search of an equaliser in the dying moments but, as so often happens, they were caught short at the back following a corner and R Williams rounded off a swift counter attack from six yards.

It was Royston’s fourth defeat on the spin and it is clear they need to find a win quickly in order to get their league campaign back on track.