Royston Town 1-1 Hitchin Town: Bragging rights shared in feisty local derby
- Credit: Archant
Royston Town and Hitchin Town played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in Tuesday night’s local derby at Garden Walk, seeing the bragging rights and points shared in the Southern League Premier Division Central clash.
The Canaries opened the scoring when Lewis Ferrell's shot inside the area found the bottom corner on 27 minutes, but despite Scott Bridges being sent off, the Crows found an equaliser on 85 minutes when Adam Murray beat Charlie Horlock to a bouncing ball to head home.
An energetic start to the game produced few chances, with neither side fashioning a clear cut opening in the first 15 minutes.
Hitchin were close to opening the scoring on 17 minutes when they broke forward, but Alex Marsh's low shot from the edge of the area was well saved by Joe Welch.
They did make the breakthrough on 27 minutes though, with a neat finish from Ferrell inside the box.
The Crows cleared a corner but not far enough as the ball came back in, with the defender on hand to fire past Welch and into the corner.
It should have been 2-0 just five minutes later, when Jay Dowie headed down a cross for Ferrell, but he could only volley against the bar from four yards out.
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Royston had been poor and were deservedly behind, but their frustration boiled over on 37 minutes when Chris Watters, a member of the coaching staff was shown a red card for remonstrating with the referee.
Hitchin took their lead into the break, and they had Horlock to thank for keeping them in front as he made a superb diving save to turn Bridges' free-kick behind on 62 minutes.
The goalkeeper denied Bridges again not long after, doing brilliantly to charge down the midfielders shot and bravely block.
The Crows pressed forward looking for an equaliser, but they just couldn't break down the Canaries defence.
Their task got even harder on 79 minutes when Bridges was shown a straight red card.
Marsh had the chance to kill off the game for the away side when he broke clear, but much like in the first-half, his low shot was kept out by Welch.
But, with 85 minutes gone, Murray levelled the game despite Royston's man disadvantage as he beat Horlock to a bouncing ball to head into the empty net and share the spoils at Garden Walk.