On the ball
CROWS manager Phil Snowden has praised three-goal hero Graham Tibbals but warned his players to keep their composure. It was another pleasing win for the Royston boss on Saturday, with the speedy striker again demonstrating his ability in front of goal,
CROWS manager Phil Snowden has praised three-goal hero Graham Tibbals but warned his players to keep their composure.
It was another pleasing win for the Royston boss on Saturday, with the speedy striker again demonstrating his ability in front of goal, to defeat Bedfont and see Crows through to the first round proper of the FA Carlsberg Vase.
After scoring the winner against Buckingham the previous week, Tibbals was in the mix once more, firing home an 89th minute winner.
Snowden said: "Tibbs is a fantastic striker who causes defenders all sorts of problems. His hat-trick was first-class and his finish for the winner was superb.
"It was a cracking goal that started from midfield, then Seb Ndombe made the full-back look foolish down the left, and his cross was met brilliantly by Tibbals."
Royston again showed their unquestionable character, and after letting their lead slip twice, battled right until the final whistle.
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"We threw caution to the wind a bit," said Snowden.
"They could have let their heads drop but they didn't. At 2-2 and with 10 minutes to go, I pushed three up and forced them to drop players back.
"As a result we made them commit and grabbed the winner."
Royston will now face Division One rivals Harpenden Town, who currently sit one position below Royston at the bottom of the table, at Garden Walk on October 6.
Snowden said: "It's a good draw for us. Like ourselves, Harpenden haven't been doing too well in the league this season.
"It's the furthest we've been in the competition for a while, which is pleasing, and I'm confident we can reach the second round."
Royston have now won three games on the spin, a run that has surely lifted the club's spirits after a somewhat slow start to the season.
Snowden said: "The players were delighted, and it was probably our best win in a while.
"At the moment we're looking good and as I've said all along we just needed to get everyone fit and playing together."
When questioned by a non-league paper on whether he was surprised by Saturday's win, Snowden hit back with no hesitation.
He said: "I wasn't surprised at all. I know how well they can play and what my players are capable of."
But he said there were still a few mistakes he would like to see ironed out.
"For part of the second half I thought we lost a bit of discipline. We showed a bit of naivety again and let them back in. We started to panic and pumped long balls forward."
He also warned that it was important for the Crows to avoid complacency and play as a team.
"I don't want us to slip back to how we were a month or so ago - they need to win their personal battles and work together," he said.
And there should be no such problem on Saturday, with captain Stuart Snowden's authority returning to the field.
"It will be good to have Stuart back, and I'm also hoping to have new signing Nicky Morgan available after some complications," said Snowden.
One player that won't be around for the trip to Arlesey Athletic is Allan Reid, who has been snapped up by Huntingdon.
Snowden added: "I think we can make it four wins out of four.
"We've got a fairly solid basis now, and although we're probably still three or four players short, we're definitely moving forward.
"The players have a lot of ability, and if they can maintain their current form I think we'll have a bright future.