Royston Town 2-1 AFC Rushden and Diamonds: Crows earn much-needed home victory

Adam Murray. Picture: Danny Loo

Adam Murray. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Royston Town crushed their Garden Walk victory drought on Saturday as AFC Rushen and Diamonds were battled past 2-1.

The Crows earned their first home win of the season against the Diamonds, who made Steve Castle’s side work in a fiercely competitive battle.

Goals from Adam Murray and Sam Corcoran cancelled out Jack Bowen’s strike for a much-needed Crows win.

The early stages on Garden Walk’s superb surface saw Royston go unpunished for sloppy midfield play and Rushden proving more composed. But as the hosts found their feet, they took the lead after 15-minutes.

The towering Murray – who had already been hassling the Diamonds’ defence – rose to meet Jordan Norville-Williams’ floated free-kick, and nodded in for 1-0.

The Crows seized control and didn’t relinquish it for the rest of the half, as Rushden struggle to create clear chances and Royston routinely stole possession in the visitor’s half.

A bizarre period after the restart saw Norville-Williams jog into the dressing room, while Spyros Mentis went down, appearing to have cramp. To the visitor’s frustration, the referee entertained Mentis – pausing the game – before both players returned the field.

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The Diamonds equalised after 60-minutes. The ball was slid through to former Biggleswade Town forward Bowen, who tapped in after Joe Welch had blocked his first attempt.

The Diamonds deserved their equaliser after a positive period, but were immediately put behind again. Royston charged forward, straight from kick-off, with Murray going close, before a penalty-box scramble saw Corcoran smash in for 2-1.

The game continued a frantic pace, with both sides pouring forward. Rushden created golden chances to equalise and looked comfortable in attack – but could only force superb saves from Welch.

The visitors poured forward in the final 15-minutes, but lacked a clinical touch and appeared to run out of steam.

Royston coped impressively under pressure, and saw out an entertaining game.