Royston Town boss happy despite Herts Charity Cup last four exit
- Credit: Archant
Despite the two-division difference and trailing 3-0 at one point of the first half, Royston put on quite the show at their Vanarama National League South hosts and almost snatched the most unlikely of Herts Charity Cup semi-final victories much to the delight of manager Steve Castle.
On the back of Saturday’s excellent come-from-behind victory at Southern League Division One Central promotion rivals AFC Rushden & Diamonds, the Crows’ boss shuffled the pack in this cup tie but for 45 minutes it looked to have been a monumental mistake, 3-1 down at half-time with only Ryan Ingrey’s goal to show for a disappointing first half.
However, a zipping second-half performance was punctuated by Rob Mason’s brace and individual efforts from Reece Dobson and only further strikes from Frankie Merrifield and Chris M’Boungou saved the higher-ranked opponents’ skin.
Castle said: “For me the fact that with a under-strength team we pushed a team two levels higher than ourselves to the limit was a major achievement. We are a squad looking positive and believing that we can really compete this year.
“It’s a scoreline that we can take heart from and build confidence when going back into the Southern League.
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“We were unlucky for their goals and it was the quality of finishing that left us so far behind in the first half.
“In the second half, Stortford continued with their top class finishing but we had a great go and I’m proud of the lads for that.”
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In a vital month, Royston host second-placed Chalfont St Peter at Garden Walk this Saturday looking to move ever closer to the league pacesetters before trips to Egham Town and Kings Langley and the Boxing Day home showdown with currently third-placed St Ives Town.
Depending on other results this weekend, Town could move to within a point of the Division One Central summit and Castle knows the importance of every game.
He continued: “All the players will be needed throughout this busy period so as many fit and able lads as we can get would be great after missing some key men in this clash at Stortford.
“There’s a belief that I want to encourage and that is for success, we can do it.”