Royston Town boss Steve Castle rues late tinkering in Chalfont St Peter league loss

Royston manager Steve Castle

Royston manager Steve Castle - Credit: Archant

Steve Castle was left to rue a decision to tinker with his side in an eventual 2-1 Southern League Division One Central home defeat to promotion rivals Chalfont St Peter at Garden Walk on Saturday.

Having gone behind thanks to Tony Mendy’s 19th minute strike, the Crows battled back to parity via Rob Mason’s spot kick just beyond the hour after substitute Reece Dobson had been scythed down.

Searching for what would have been another massive three points, of similar magnitude to the previous Saturday’s 4-1 away triumph at league leaders AFC Rushden & Diamonds, Castle threw big defender Joe De La Salle into attack to harry the visiting backline with goalscorer Mason, carrying a knock, leaving the field for defender George Powell.

The hosts were to be caught out in added time though as Mendy struck again to sink crestfallen Royston.

Castle said: “Collectively we all take responsibility for the loss.

“That in truth includes me and the staff. We are all in it together so when we lose, we all lose and when we win everyone can take the plaudits dished out.

“For my part I feel responsible for maybe tinkering about a little too much. We had got ourselves back level but I was very optimistic that we could get the three points.

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“Sometimes choices like putting Joe De La Salle up front come off, sometimes they don’t. It’s the dilemmas that a manager often has.

“If I’m truthful it’s a thing I have got to control. My staff are excellent and although I try to get their views, I will mostly go on my instinct but it didn’t come off this time.”

Castle may have put his hands up and accepted a part in the loss but he was still less than enamoured by his side’s wasteful finishing and casual defending.

He continued: “We had plenty of opportunities, none or hardly any hitting the target which arguably was the main reason for our defeat.

“I also felt that our defending left a lot to be desired especially in regards to the goals they got.

“Fair play to their top striker Mendy. He had two chances to score and finished them both off with a great deal of quality.”

Royston’s attempts to bounce straight back from defeat were thwarted on Tuesday night as their latest league match at Egham Town was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.