Reid off as Crows crash

Leverstock Green 2 Royston Town 0 TWO second half goals from third placed Leverstock saw the Crows slump to their 12th Spartan South Midlands League defeat of the season, on Saturday. To make things worse for Phil Snowden s team, they saw Alan Reid

Leverstock Green 2 Royston Town 0

TWO second half goals from third placed Leverstock saw the Crows slump to their 12th Spartan South Midlands League defeat of the season, on Saturday.

To make things worse for Phil Snowden's team, they saw Alan Reid sent off for swearing at the referee. It was Reid's second dismissal of the season, as the Crows collected their 12th red card of the campaign.

Once again the Crows were forced to play youth team midfielder Greg Jackson in goal due to the continued unavailability of Chris Chambers and the 17-year-old produced another fine performance.

The first half was a dour and scrappy affair, with little goalmouth action at either end. Allan Arthur had a shot cleared off the line in the fifth minute, and in the 17th minute John Pedder's pass gave Arthur a run at goal, but his shot was saved by the legs of Jackson.

On 29 minutes Green keeper Derek Lewis had to tip over a header from Allan Reid, and five minutes before the break Arthur had a third chance when he turned and shot from the edge of the six-yard box, but Jackson turned it round the post.

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The second half was a different story altogether, as Green attacked frequently and with much more threat. The deadlock was broken in the 53rd minute.

A ball from the back put James Armstrong clear down the left, and as Armstrong spotted that Jackson was off his line, he aimed a chip for the top corner. Jackson got a hand to it, but the rebound fell for Chris Burr, who hooked it in from a narrow angle to put Green ahead.

Midway through the second half, Armstrong's shot from the edge of the penalty area was turned round the post by Jackson, and Jackson saved another shot from Caseman four minutes later.

Royston's cause was not helped when they were reduced to 10 men on 71 minutes, Reid swore at the referee as he was about to book him for retaliation following a foul by Armstrong, and the man in black showed him a straight red card.

Despite being down to 10 men, Royston continued to push forward, switching to three at the back, but five minutes from time a cross from Bull bounced up and hit the hand of Matt Bloss inside the box.

The referee awarded Green a harsh penalty, but Armstrong's spot-kick was brilliantly saved by Jackson to keep Royston in the game.

Two minutes later Armstrong's pass put Hallissey through, only for Jackson to save Hallissey's shot and Armstrong to put the rebound wide. Louis West's pass then put Caseman clean through, but again Jackson saved his shot.

Finally, a minute from time a ball over the top put Hallissey clear, and he unselfishly squared for Caseman to shoot home the second goal and end the Crows' hopes.

Despite the disappointment of the loss, Crows' chairman Graham Phillips was pleased with his side's performance: "We played very well, and were a bit unlucky. We were the better team in the first half, and Jez McMurrough had a good chance.

"Brad Jackson and Lee Bates worked very hard, and it was a good all-round team performance. Gregg Jackson was outstanding in goal again.

"We kept playing and creating chances when we were down to 10 men, but it just wasn't our day. We'll play worse than that and win."

G Jackson, P Chappell, S Snowden, M Bloss, R Cannon, C Edwards, A Reid, L Rogers, L Bates (K Blair), J McMurrough, B Jackson.

- The Crows return to Garden Walk for their first home game of 2007 on Saturday.

They will face a Ruislip Manor side who have already beaten them in the league and FA Vase this season.

Royston Town Reserves 13 Amersham Town Reserves 1

ADAM Stokes blasted four goals as the Crows went on a goal rampage on Saturday afternoon.

Royston were 9-0 up at half-time as they showed little mercy on the visiting side to move up to second in the Sartan South Midlands League Reserve Division Two.

The only disappointment for the Crows was Chris Geldart's red card.

In an uncompromising fashion, Royston started strong and out played their opponents in all departments.

It was a disciplined performance from the hosts, who were never really troubled in this league encounter.

With a nine goal half-time cushion, Royston were able to make three changes at the interval, and as the second-half got underway the hosts continued their relentless assault on goal.

Richard Lowden, Mark Saunders, Kieran Butler, and Chris Burks all notched two apiece and Craig Parry also got his name on the scoresheet.

The result saw the Crows move ahead of Cockfosters on goal difference, and they now lie a point behind leaders London Colney - though they have played three games more than both their immediate challengers.

They are without game this weekend before travelling to Caddington.

Standon and Puckeridge Vets 1 Royston Town Vets 1

A LATE Dickie Harris equaliser spared Royston's blushes on Sunday, in a game they really should have won.

With six of the previous weeks squad unavailable, Town welcomed debutant Peter Leete up front, and utility man Colin McArthur into their starting line-up.

And with the heavy wind at their backs, it was Town who looked the more lively early on, with Harris dominating the midfield and Leete causing problems in attack.

It was the impressive Leete who then thundered a shot against the Standon upright, with a on running Lewis forcing a terrific save from the home keeper when the ball looked destined for the back of the net.

The second-half saw Standon come out stronger and the home side put together some good passing football.

When Standon did attack they found Ian King and Ian Stubbs in commanding form at the back. Although the home side did pull in front when captain Brian Cannon gave away a penalty.

But Royston rallied round and spurred on by the Harris' power and the endeavour of Barthrop, Town created a number of chances. And when Harris met a Lewis free-kick in the box.

The Royston player made no mistake and crashed a volley home from five yards - much to the relief of his team mates and supporters.