Late goals seal consecutive wins for Crows

Hadley 0-2 Royston Town

The Crows made it two wins from two in the league with victory over Hadley on Wednesday night.

Late goals from Tom Malins and debutant Kaan Fehmi sealed the three points for Paul Attfield’s side who largely dominated their opponents throughout the match.

“For 70 minutes of the game we were completely dominant and had to show some decent patience,” said Attfield after the match.

“To control the game with the pace and skill we did away from home for such long periods is great credit to the team and their sheer determination to win it made it terribly difficult for our opponents.

“Although the goals came late it was the very least the players deserved and on another day we would have won by a far greater margin – it was great to watch from the sidelines.”

The game started fairly even with the visitors winning a number of corners that were well delivered but equally well defended. Kann Fehmi and Ricky Young both had half chances directed straight at the home goalkeeper while Hadley were swift on the counter-attack and created the best chance of the opening period when a forward broke through a number of weak attempted tackles and saw his shot blocked by Jorden Gibson’s legs.

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From the 25-minute mark Royston began to gain complete control of the game and with Hadley struggling to contain the pace of football and swift player movement they packed their defensive third leaving their one forward completely isolated.

More corners were won, and half chances created but the sheer numbers in defence made it difficult to create clear-cut chances. Ryan Lockett had a 20-yard effort just wide, Kann Fehmi a close-range shot deflected wide and the same player hit a scorching free kick from 25 yards a foot wide of the upright just before half time.

The barrage of pressure became more evident in the second half with the hosts struggling to get the ball out of their own half with Royston maintaining excellent technical ability and pace in their game.

Malins headed two crosses just off target and Ricky Young had an angled drive blocked by the ‘keeper in the early moments of the half.

Kaan Fehmi then had a shot deflected just wide from 20 yards and Ross Collins had an 18-yard shot from a central position blocked by a defender.

Royston lost influential defender John McGrandles to a bad eye cut but maintained the assault. In a rare forage forward the hosts created one decent chance when Royston committed players forward in attack and one cross-field ball caught out their defence but their forward miskicked wide from 10 yards.

Finally the opening goal came with much relief to the visiting contingent in the 73rd minute. Collins released Young in the left channel and his low angled cross found the unmarked Malins who controlled and shot wide of the ‘keeper from 10 yards.

Hadley had to change things in an attempt to get something from the game having defended for so long. This helped Royston to create more chances themselves on the counter-attack and the crucial second goal arrived with an excellent strike from Kaan Fehmi with 10 minutes remaining. Some decent play from the forward on the left of the area saw him cut inside and unleash a curling effort over the ‘keeper and into the net via the top of the post.

Hadley tried to create in the later stages but left their attacking intentions far too late for any possible comeback and a late Lockett header just missed the goal in the final moments but overall many positives for the Crows to take from a fine victory.

Royston Town: Gibson, Whitaker (Endacott), Grinham, McGrandles (Bradshaw) Beck, Collins, Edwards, Malins, K Fehmi, Lockett, Young (OBrien).

Subs not used: Matt Standen, A Fehmi.