Langley are Kings as Crows’ fine run comes to an end

Royston Town Res 0 Kings Langley Res 1 THE Crows finally lost their unbeaten home league record in this top of the table clash at Garden Walk on Saturday. With two clubs withdrawing from the league, and points being removed accordingly, Royston hav

Royston Town Res 0 Kings Langley Res 1

THE Crows finally lost their unbeaten home league record in this top of the table clash at Garden Walk on Saturday.

With two clubs withdrawing from the league, and points being removed accordingly, Royston have seen nine points disappear, and this has brought the top of the table considerably closer.

This game saw a great similarity to the reverse fixture from earlier in the season.

A niggly, and bad tempered encounter with no real quality football shown.

An even start saw Town look comfortable, and untroubled, pushing forward at every opportunity.

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However, with 20 minutes gone it was the visitors who took the lead taking advantage of a little indecision to score despite keeper Sam Booth getting a hand to the effort.

Royston then upped their game and dominated the remainder of the half. Their best chance saw Ben Bowles hit a post, with Langley happy to defend in numbers, and use up time at every chance.

The hosts started the second period well, and became camped in the visitors half.

With pressure building Royston created a number of good goal chances, and maybe due to the recent lack of match practice could not convert to these to goals.

Again Royston hit the woodwork with John Gamble heading against a post from a Chris Geldart free kick.

With time running out the hosts became ever more frustrated with Langley's time-wasting exploits, something the referee for some reason did not want to deal with.

This frustration came to a head with Sam Bowles being shown a straight red card for a robust tackle, which was shown however to the wrong player and owed more to the visitors reaction than the offence itself.

The game then drew to a close with more of a war of words than a competitive encounter.

Royston: S Booth, A Stodart, B Bowles, D Miles, C Parry, C Geldart, C Burkes, D Bird, P Still, T Parry, S Bowles, J Gamble, G Jackson

Royston Town A 2 Hertford Heath 0

AN excellent performance against Premier Division high-flyers Hertford Heath saw the Crows move into Jubilee Cup semi-finals.

The home side dominated from the kick off against a side three leagues above them, and threatened early on when Nathan Davenport connected with a well-weighted Adam Stokes pass which the visiting keeper tipped just around the post.

Royston keeper Russell Jones almost emulated his England counterpart when his free kick sailed towards the Hertford goal catching the defence unawares and only a desperate save from keeper kept the score level at half-time.

Having contained the Premier Division leaders Royston put the second part of the game plan into action with the introduction of Brett Purkiss and Kerry Chaffey adding that extra bit of pace in crucial areas.

This tactical move put Hertford on the back foot and more and more possession came Royston's way.

Danny Crosk opened the scoring with a clever flick from a James Meridith corner, which was a just reward for the in-form skipper who along with the tenacious Mark Evans have been the rocks of a well marshalled defence which continued to stand firm against some fairly rough house tactics as Hertford pressed to level the game.

With Hertford having to throw caution to the wind gaps began to appear in their rear guard, and veteran Kenny Blair used all his experience to play a clever reverse pass into the speedy Danvenport's path who raced on and finished at the second attempt to claim not only his side a place in the semi-final but also their fourth scalp from the top flight this season.

Royston Town Vets 2 Walkern Vets 2

AFTER coming back from two early goals, the Vets were unable to turn their dominance into a win they so deserved.

Colin McArthur started up front, as Peter Leete became this years Vet who forgot to turn the clocks forward.

Town started confidently and a Carlo Silenti's cross was narrowly headed over by a Walkern defender before a cross from the visitors left was volleyed home to put Walkern ahead after 11 minutes.

Jason Clark had three good efforts well saved but Walkern's slick short passing and speed on the break took Town apart, after a quick interchange of passes, they got round the back of the home defence, leaving keeper Merv Chaffey cruelly exposed to make it 2-0.

It could have been three minutes later, with the Royston defence again exposed, with Chaffey saving the day with a fine save.

Striker Paul Lewis was pulled down by the Walkern keeper and from the resultant spot kick Lewis's straight down the middle penalty found its way past the flaying legs of the guilty keeper.

The second half saw the Vets much more impressive, controlling the game, passing and keeping the ball as the visitors tired. Leete brought the scores level, cutting in from the right and hammering a left foot drive low into the far corner, leaving the keeper helpless.

From then on it was one-way traffic and despite the effort and drive of Richard Harris, the guile of Clark, enthusiasm of Nick Humphries and the cool of Daryl Quinn, it was the indifferent finishing of the Town strikers that enabled the visitors to snatch a draw.

Royston Town Vets: M Chaffey, I Stubbs, N Humphries, K Flack, B Cannon, R Harris, D Quinn, C Silenti, C McArthur, P Lewis, J Clark, P Leete M Jackson, M Crowley, I Allen