Royston Town bounce back with victory against Uxbridge

Joe De La Salle after scoring for Royston vs Uxbridge. Pictures by Kevin Richards

Joe De La Salle after scoring for Royston vs Uxbridge. Pictures by Kevin Richards - Credit: Archant

Royston Town manager Paul Attfield was pleased with the ‘reaction’ of his players in securing a hard-fought 1-0 victory on Tuesday night at home to Uxbridge.

It was clear at Garden Walk that Attfield was still seething at what happened on the previous Saturday - Royston fell to a 3-0 home defeat to Three Bridges in the FA Trophy Preliminary Round.

In that game The Crows also had three players dismissed in the closing stages, Ross Collins, Robbie Mason and Kaan Fehmi, with Attfield stating that ‘the level of team discipline was at a completely unacceptable level and will be dealt with in the severest way possible by me in due course.’

So the Uxbridge encounter offered his players an opportunity to right some wrongs, and thanks to Joe De La Salle’s 11th-minute thunderbolt of a free-kick, three points were secured in the Calor Southern League Division One Central clash.

“After Saturday I wanted to see a strong reaction and I thought we saw that tonight,” said the Town boss.

“In the first half I thought we were pretty decent and got on top early, but probably that final bit of play in the final third let us down.

“They changed things around at half-time and credit to them they gave it a go in the second half and we had to hold on a little bit as we couldn’t get any rhythm.

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“But sometimes you’ve got to do that throughout the season, grind it out, and it could be a big three points.”

With Attfield’s words ringing in their ears, Royston started the game on the front foot, and what turned out to be the only goal of the game came from an unlikely source.

Mason was fouled some 20 yards from goal, and immediately centre-half De La Salle wanted a piece of the action.

He placed the ball down and fired a low, rocket of a shot into the left hand corner that gave Uxbridge keeper Matt Elston-Bull no chance.

The better chances fell to Royston in the remainder of the first period.

Hammond came close at the back post with a header that trickled wide and Ryan Ingrey headed over when he should have done better from an Mason cross.

Uxbridge’s first effort at goal came just after the half-hour mark when full back Emmanuel Otira, who recovered from a shaky start to be Uxbridge’s best player, went on a jinking run.

He skipped past half-hearted challenges from Mitchell Bryant and Ingrey and fired at goal only to see Crows keeper George Lawton palm it away from danger.

The second period saw Lawton called into action much more - he had to be on his toes to twice parry fierce Craig Tomkins’ free-kicks away from danger, and was relieved to see another from the Uxbridge striker crash against the bar.

Carl Edwards almost made it a less nervy finish to the game on 75 minutes, but his low drive was brilliantly saved by the Uxbridge keeper.

The visitors’ substitute Chris Drake hit the foot of the post with Lawton beaten three minutes from time, but Royston held on for an important victory.