Inconsistency continues as Royston defeated by Barwell
- Credit: Archant
Royston Town’s patchy form continues to cost them as they lost 3-1 away at Barwell on Saturday to slip down to 12th in the Southern League Central Premier Division table.
They got off to a good start when Matt Bateman's deflected shot gave them the lead inside 60 seconds, but the hosts fought back to equalise as Brady Hickey tucked home Tolani Omotola's cut back on 25 minutes.
The game was level at the break and both sides pressed for the go ahead goal after the interval.
It was Barwell who got it as Royston shot themselves in the foot, with Luke Warner-Eley putting through his own net from a cross.
Things got worse for the Crows on 70 minutes as Ben Martin was sent off. And the home side took advantage and won a penalty which Hickey converted to secure all three points with 76 minutes on the clock.
Royston boss Steve Castle lamented his side's defensive issues, saying: "We started incredibly well by going 1-0 up, but ultimately shooting ourselves in the foot once more by conceding soft goals.
"This is a habit that needs to be broken and broken quickly.
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"I've said it before and I'll say it again, we have a really good group of lads. Whatever team we put out we will compete against any team, but our Achilles heel is the goals against issue.
"We have a fantastic goalkeeper and solid defenders. In general, as a team, we are giving opposing teams far too many opportunities to score by not stopping crosses or shots, diving into situations where delaying would be best and in general just making poor defensive decisions, ones that on reflection, the boys know they shouldn't have made.
"When I'm talking about conceding goals I mean it as a whole team, not just the defenders. It has to be addressed as a team."
Castle wasn't happy with the penalty given against his side, adding: "I'm not even going to comment on the last goal, other than to say the decision was dubious, to say the least."
With a difficult test against National League South leaders Wealdstone in the FA Trophy on Saturday and a league game against struggling Stratford Town to come in their next two games, Castle is keen to see Royston pick themselves up.
"We have to brush it off and go again," he said.
"The ups and downs of a season will happen. The belief is there, as is the ability, and if we keep free from injuries we will compete.
"We know we are good enough. Keep the faith everyone."