Red letter day for Kojo as Crows crash again

ROYSTON TOWN 1 (D McMurrough) LEVERSTOCK G 3 (Grieve, Muggeridge, Anderson) TEN-man Crows slipped into the bottom three of the Spartan South Midlands League as they suffered their fifth defeat in seven games this season, on Saturday. To compound the miser


(D McMurrough)


(Grieve, Muggeridge, Anderson)

TEN-man Crows slipped into the bottom three of the Spartan South Midlands League as they suffered their fifth defeat in seven games this season, on Saturday.

To compound the misery for new boss Phil Snowden, who is still looking for his first win since taking control in the summer, winger Kojo Ofori was sent off with eight minutes remaining.

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In a truly pointless dismissal, Ofori was first booked for kicking the ball directly at a visiting defender at a dead-ball situation, and was then sent off for dissent.

If was Ofori's second red card of the season, and he now faces a four match ban to further add to Smowden's problems.

After two erratic games in goal, Desmond Asuo was replaced by fit-again Scott Statham, but the Crows still sorely miss Barry White, with the first two goals down to the former Cambridge City keeper.

The Crows had started brightly, with Dave McMurrough heading over a Jason Nash free-kick in the first minute.

McMurrough proved to be in the thick of the action during the first half, being involved in altercations with Paul Leslie and John Peddar as the game often looked on the verge of boiling over.

In probably their best half of football this season, the Crows controlled most of the first half, with Ofori forcing visiting keeper Joel Canning into a good save with a long range effort and the Green defence finally managing to clear the ball after a goalmouth scramble.

Peddar saw a long range shot cleared for a corner, but for the first time this season, the Crows reached half-time with a clean sheet.

Any celebrations about that achievement were quickly cut short, however, as Green grabbed the lead within 24 seconds of the restart.

A ball over the top from Steve Boad allowed James Armstrong to beat the offside trap, and his weak shot crept in at the far post with Statham floundering.

That lead lasted only three minutes before Ofori held off Matt Plaskett's challenge before threading a perfect ball for McMurrough to slide home from 10 yards.

That proved to be as good as it got for the hosts, however, as Dale Seers and Sean Sangster both went close.

The visitors regained the lead in the 62nd minute Leslie sent a long free-kick into the box, where Statham pushed the ball onto the post, with Adam Hallissey having the simple task of knocking the ball into an empty net.

Ely Kitenge and Allan Reid were both booked as Royston's frustration began to show, and the home side were lucky not to concede a third goal as their indecision at free-kicks was again highlighted.

On 76 minutes Johnson headed wide from another well-placed kick, but three minutes later Leslie's free kick to the far post was headed back across goal, where Peter Chappell was left with the impossible task of marking four men, allowing Johnson to net from close range.

Once the obviously talented, but clearly volatile Ofori had seen red it was clearly over for the home side as they crashed to another defeat.

Royston: S Statham, J Lavelle, K Amankwah, S Snowden, A Reid, P Chappell, D McMurrough, J Nash, E Kitenge, P Sniane, K Ofori. Subs: R Cannon, C Edwards, L Revell, C Geldart, M Nichols.

Maldon Town 2

Royston Town Ladies 3

ROYSTON enjoyed a productive journey to the Essex coastal town of Maldon coming away with a 3-2 victory which sees them progress into the second qualifying round of the Women's FA Cup.

However, the visitors made hard work of disposing of their lower league opponents and very nearly regretted a hat-full of missed chances.

The home side were quickly into their game and in the opening 10 minutes put Town's defence and stand in goal keeper Claire Draper under a lot of pressure.

Royston's first meaningful attack resulted in a corner and Emma Chaffey curled the ball into the top corner of the net direct from the resulting kick.

From then on the visitors dominated the game and on 25 minutes another Chaffey corner caused havoc in the Maldon defence and ended up with Carolyn Lambert slotting the ball home.

Jodie Scott nearly made it 3-0 after a brilliant run through Maldon defence but somehow managed to miss what looked like an open goal.

With half-time approaching Royston's defence went to sleep in the glorious afternoon sunshine and allowed Maldon's best player to pull a goal back.

Having let the home side back into the game Royston found themselves under constant pressure for the first 15 minutes of the second half and only a last gasp save by Draper kept the visitors lead intact.

This seemed to stir Town into action and they mounted a series of concerted attacks which saw Chaffey hit the bar, and two goal line clearances in rapid succession.

Royston's hard work eventually paid off when Lambert flicked the ball on to strike partner Scott who finished the move off with a great goal.

The game looked over and done but Royston were determined to make things difficult for -themselves right-to-the-end and conceded a goal with two minutes to go, but they held on to win.