Penalty heartache for Royston as they lose in extra time
A GOAL two minutes from the end of normal time to extend the game by 30 minutes and a penalty two minutes from the end of extra time handed this cup tie to current league leaders Colney Heath on Tuesday evening. Paul Attfield's Royston side went into the
A GOAL two minutes from the end of normal time to extend the game by 30 minutes and a penalty two minutes from the end of extra time handed this cup tie to current league leaders Colney Heath on Tuesday evening.
Paul Attfield's Royston side went into the game with good confidence after Saturday's league win at Chalfont St Peter but an extended injury list didn't help matters with a number of players starting the game with slight knocks.
First team regulars Jorden Gibson, Arin Fehmi and Luke Robins all missed the clash with Attfield also having to leave normal starters Josh Bronti and Ricky Young on the bench.
Colney played like league leaders and had the majority of possession in the first half and Royston had to defend resolutely, which they did. There were few real chances created and despite the seven goals on the scoreline come the end of this encounter, none were scored in a goalless first half.
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Defender Danny Apostolos extended Royston's injury list further and had to be replaced by Bronti, but the forced substitution proved to be to Royston's advantage as Bronti was in blistering form and scored the first of three goals just four minutes after the break with an angled drive under the goalkeeper's dive.
Rather than kick into life Royston continued to defend and Colney deservedly equalised midway through the half when Ian Cooper finished well with a one-on-one effort.
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The game became open with both teams bringing good saves from their opposite goalkeeper's but with seven minutes remaining Bronti broke the offside trap to clip home over the 'keeper to put Royston in front.
With the minutes ticking away and another good scalp on the cards poor defending from a corner allowed Scott Lacey to head home from eight yards in the 88th minute to send the game into extra time.
Colney took the lead for the first time in the match on 97 minutes with another free header, this time by Jack Coombs, from a corner from 12 yards.
In reply Royston threw more bodies forward and Bronti deservedly scrambled the ball in with six minutes remaining to complete his first club hat-trick and seemingly send the game into penalties.
Colney though hadn't read that script and when Royston gave the ball away setting up a counterattack, a poor tackle in the area set up a definite penalty opportunity which Cooper converted to send the hosts into the quarter final.
Attfield said: "It is frustrating again because our open play defending was very good but we have ultimately lost the game from two set plays and a penalty.
"We had a good go in the second half and extra time and had some good moments but couldn't quite do enough.
"That said our squad is very stretched right now and we have competed well against the top two sides this week."
Royston: Barlow, Endacott, Apostolos (Bronti), Jones, Cain, Dolan (De Lacy), Edwards, Malins, Lock, Lockett, Morriss (Young).