Royston boss Steve Castle hurt by Chalfont loss

Steve Castle

Steve Castle - Credit: Archant

Royston boss Steve Castle described his side’s late league defeat on Tuesday night as “a sickener”.

The Crows travelled to Buckinghamshire to face in-form Chalfont, boasting six successive league victories, and after four away games on the bounce, Royston looked a tired team.

Remmel Clarke opened the scoring for the hosts midway through the first half only for Reece Dobson to equalise.

Stuart Bridges’ corner was flicked on by defender Spyros Mentis and Dobson controlled and coolly finished.

Royston went in at the break on level terms and after falling behind so early, they felt the win was there for the taking.

The odds looked further in their favour as Dominic Russo saved a 73rd-minute penalty.

However, their gung-ho attitude was to be punished as Alex Paine popped up late on to steal the win for the home side.

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Following on from their Bedford Town loss at the weekend, Castle was bemused by his side’s dip in form.

Castle told the Crow: “I am very disappointed and we only have ourselves to blame to be honest.

“I put out the same team as at North Greenford United and Hitchin and I expected more.

“We didn’t compete in the first half and we deserved to be down and out by half-time.

“They had all the better chances and they should have taken advantage.

“To give us a bit of credit, we did start to get into the game in the second half but as we began to taste blood for the win, we got caught out.

“It was a sickener to concede and we have to go back to the drawing board now.

“The lads were a bit deflated obviously but we will have to go again.

“We had a similar situation after the Marlow game where we had cup games coming up, had just come off a win and we came unstuck so we know how to deal with this and get back to winning ways.

“We can’t make excuses about travelling around the M25 midweek because I know that our opponents will have to do the same to face us later in the season but I think some of the weekday travelling is starting to wear us out a bit.”

The Crows now face a league trip to Hertfordshire rivals, Potters Bar on Saturday hoping to turn around their fortunes and get their season back on track.

Royston saw off Saturday’s opponents last month in the FA Trophy and they will want to topple the Scholars again.

Castle continued: “I know the manager down there and I know he will want to win as much as we do.

“It is the final game of our six-match away run so if we could get a win and move back towards the top of the table, I would be delighted.

“We do have a win to our names over them this season and hopefully that can spur us on more than them.”

Castle’s men now lie seventh in the league but still within touching distance of the playoff places and the manager is not concerned by his team’s current plight.

Castle said: “It is still early in the season so we aren’t too worried at this stage.

“If you look at teams like Kettering Town, who are top of the table, I expect them to lose a few more before the season is out and that goes for the rest of the teams as well.

“We would be silly to think we are out of the running for anything at this stage but we know that we have to improve because many more defeats like last night and Saturday and we will be.

“We just have to take every game as it comes now and see how we do.”