Royston go top after win at Tigers
Malins and Young strikes maintain perfect start for Crows
London Tigers 0-2 Royston Town
GOALS from Tom Malins and Ricky Young secured a hard-fought win over London Tigers on Saturday – maintaining the Crows’ perfect start to the season.
It was a satisfactory three points for Paul Attfield’s side who were missing several key players for the trip to London.
John McGrandles and Matt Standen returned to the squad but the unavailability list was high with Tom Whitaker and Ryan Redford injured, Arin Fehmi, Kann Fehmi, Rhys Lawrence and Ryan Lockett on holiday and Jason Beck suspended.
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In the opening stages the visitors won a number of set plays as they started well. Delivered free kicks from Lewis Endacott were headed just off target each time and a Malins corner was headed onto the crossbar by McGrandles as Tigers struggled to defend aerial balls.
The hosts, while being a good technical side, were often hampered by they own pitch and despite some occasional bursts forward they rarely looked a goal threat in the first half.
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Royston piled on some decent pressure but they were often undone with a poor final choice of ball or their move was interrupted with close offside calls or free kicks awarded to the opposition.
The game needed a goal and Royston got it at a perfect time just before half time. A home move broke down easily in midfield and Ross Collins weighted a neat through ball for Malins to outpace the home defence and slot wide of the ‘keeper’s dive and into the net.
Royston lost full-back Ashley Grinham to a knee injury just before the break which meant change of formation with Matt Standen joining Dalton O’Brien in a two-man attack and Collins moved to full-back.
The players were met in the second half by driving wind and rain for 20 minutes which didn’t help the pitch surface but the passing got better from both teams.
Tigers had their best period in the opening 15 minutes as they applied pressure but Royston’s defence, marshalled by Bradshaw and McGrandles, was outstanding and it was hard for them to create anything of note.
With Tigers pressing, Royston hit them on the counter on 61 minutes when Young was released down the left before cutting inside and curling a sublime effort into the far corner with the ‘keeper rooted to the spot.
This effectively ended any hopes Tigers had of winning the match and as a result Royston found an extra gear as they ended the match in the ascendancy and, as a result, should have won by a greater margin.
Manager Attfield said after the game: “In hindsight, to play on a as poorer pitch as this in August may be beneficial as it will be a bigger problem as the season extends.
“For me the timing of the two goals was pivotal with one right on half time and a second just on the end of their best period of the game. Other than that the lads really dug in well – defending pretty well as a unit and always looked danger on the counter.
Their collective efforts fully deserve the final scoreline.”
Royston Town: Gibson, Endacott, Grinham (Matt Standen), McGrandles, Bradshaw Martin Standen, Collins, Malins, O’Brien, Edwards.