Klein puts reserves into semi-finals

ROYSTON TOWN reserves progressed to the semi-finals of the Herts Intermdiate Cup after a narrow victory over tournament favourites Hemel Hempstead Reserves.

Both sides started brightly and both defences and ‘keepers needed to be alert from the very start as the opening exchanges were very open and frantic.

As expected, Hemel began to dominate and only the intervention of Royston’s Danny Apostolos who cleared the ball off his side’s goal line on two occasions kept Royston in the game.

Royston put the Hemel defence under pressure as the game wore on with both Rhys Hoeness and Harry Allcock forcing saves from the Hemel ‘keeper.

The opening goal, when it came, was a spectacular drive from the left foot of the talented Paul Klein who received a pinpoint pass from Lanre Adibiyi before taking the ball past three defenders a rifling a ferocious drive into the roof of the Hemel net.

Royston’s small but dedicated travelling fans were ecstatic as the team went in at the interval a goal to the good.

The home side changed their formation to try and salvage the game going into the second half and this seemed to be working as Hemel dominated the crucial midfield area.

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But as Hemel pushed to level the scores gaps began to appear in their defence and Royston were a coat of paint away from extending the lead when skipper John Bitting’s shot grazed the post before going behind for a goal kick.

In the latter stages of the game Royston defended like men possessed with Ryan Cannon and Stuart Jackson leading by example and ‘keeper Jorden Gibson bringing a much-needed calm to his side.

Indeed after the game Gibson praised his side’s effort when he said: “The fellas were magnificent today. The gaffer had asked us to raise our game and I think we all managed to do that rather well.”

Royston now face London Lions in the semi final on February 26 at Garden Walk.