Goalless draw sees Royston Town drop to second

Simon Thomas on the ball. Picture: David Hatton

Simon Thomas on the ball. Picture: David Hatton - Credit: Archant

Royston Town relinquished Southern League Division One Central top spot with a nervous and directionless goalless draw at mid-table Bedford Town.

With close rivals around the Crows all making up ground, the only plus points were another clean sheet and extending the unbeaten run to 11 games.

The over-riding problem for Royston, in front of a 222-strong crowd, was the lack of quality and tentative finishing in front of goal.

The first period of the match was patchy at best with aerial ping-pong being the game of choice.

Countless wind-assisted balls were fed diagonally in the direction of Simon Thomas who worked hard to hold up or flick on the ball, but the runners off Thomas were behind the pace and when in play were simply marshalled.

Steve Castle’s frustration in his team manifested itself early with a pointless distracting fracas with the home bench.

Royston persisted with their fruitless game-plan, winning free-kicks in semi-dangerous areas and corners from defended attempts but no real efforts on target were seen.

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Into the second half and the tetchy scrappiness continued.

Castle made changes on 60 minutes removing Ryan Ingrey and Tommy Hull and replacing them with Martel Powell and Daniel Brathwaite.

It didn’t seem to work as outlets that were previously being created by Ingrey were replaced by deeper-sitting Powell, leaving Thomas even more isolated.

Jack Bradshaw had a good shot well-saved and Rhys Hoenes blasted a half chance into the side-netting as the Crows did their best to turn up the pressure.

Again the Eagles dealt with all Royston could throw at them and two late crosses, manufactured by Chris Watters, were not met with the required conviction to finish.

Hoenes had a great chance to steal the three points on 90 minutes breaking through centrally but home keeper Enol Ordonez-Suarez got enough on the ball to clear the danger.

Royston go into tonight’s (Tuesday) clash at promotion rivals Egham Town a point off leaders Kings Langley.