Royston bounce back to beat Chalfont St Peter
The players of Royston Town showed strength of character to pick themselves up from a disappointing Boxing Day result to get a 2-1 away win against a resilient Chalfont St Peter side, writes David Baulk.
It was wet and breezy and whilst the pitch was heavy in patches, it was in no way water-logged and the game was deemed playable by the match referee and stood as one of only two played games in the division.
With the floodlights on from the start it was the Crows that started the brighter with Kaan Fehmi putting the ball in the net after two minutes only to see the goal ruled out for offside.
Carl Edwards then found himself in a good position only to see his left foot snap-shot deflected wide of goal.
The weather and slippery the pitch conditions took the edge off the quality of both side’s play and a Royston defensive mix up saw Liam McDevitt clear a Chalfont shot off of the line – this week with his foot, not his hand.
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A few unbalanced tackles from both sides were brought free-kicks and this did not help the general flow of the game.
The deadlock was broken in the 24th minute when the tricky Luke Robins surged forward and was clumsily brought down with the referee awarding a spot-kick.
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Fehmi dispatched his effort confidently to give the visitors the lead.
Chalfont responded well and goalkeeper Luke Howard, deputising for the injured Will Norris, made an excellent block from five yards after the ball broke loose in the Royston penalty area.
The home side kept the pressure on the Crows in a spirited 10 minute period in which the Royston back line stood strong and defended resolutely.
The lead was doubled six minutes before half-time when Fehmi linked well with flying winger Tom Malins who sent over a perfectly weighted cross for Robins.
The winger then struck a superb airborne volley from 12 yards high into the Chalfont net to give his side a 2-0 lead going into half-time.
Royston opened up the second half creating two good chances to extend their lead only to see themselves pegged back 10 minutes in.
A tricky run by a Chalfont player was allowed to continue only to see him eventually fouled in the box to give the home side a penalty kick which Adam Louth converted.
Chalfont were in the ascendancy and their endeavour brought a few half chances on the visitor’s goal and the game sat in the balance.
The home side’s cause was not helped in the 68th minute when Louth saw a straight red card for what the referee deemed a dangerous tackle on the hard working Ryan Ingrey.
Despite being down to 10 men the home side continued to threaten the Royston goal with the Crows defending deep and looking to counter with swift breaks, with both Fehmi and Malins looking lively.
Despite creating good opportunities, they could not add to their lead with the best effort being a firmly hit shot from Robins that was superbly saved by the home team’s keeper.
Howard tipped a Chalfont free-kick onto the post and the game finished with Royston determinedly holding onto all three points.
Royston: Howard, Bradshaw, Wilson (Parr-70), McDevitt, DeLaSalle, Edwards, Collins (c), Malins, Ingrey, Fehmi (Standen-90), Robins (Lockett-90).
Sub not used: Endacott, Reynolds.