Royston Town out of the FA Cup after hugely disappointing performance at Bishop’s Stortford

Royston Town travelled to Bishop's Stortford in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Royston Town travelled to Bishop's Stortford in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup. - Credit: Archant

Royston Town crashed out of the FA Cup with a hugely disappointing 3-0 defeat at Bishop’s Stortford.

It wasn’t just the result that was poor, Frankie Merrifield getting two and Correy Davidson one for the Blues, but the manner of the Crows performance was the biggest bugbear.

They struggled to create many chances and when they did it was only when they were chasing the game.

They won’t have long to lick their wounds with the games coming thick and fast but this was not a night to remember.

That could have been true of the game itself, although many of the 600 capacity crowd would disagree.

The phrase ‘typical cup tie’ usually reflects a match played at breakneck speed and with frantic tackling.

That’s exactly what this match had for most of the first period but unlike a typical cup tie, it was missing any real chances or quality.

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There were only two efforts on goal of note, both to Stortford, and it was from the second of them that they took the lead.

Darren Foxley swung in a corner from the right-hand side towards the near post and it was met by the unmarked Merrifield ho guided it into the back of the net.

It was all far too easy for the hosts who should have really took the lead on 15 minutes.

Aaron Greene did well down the left and when he pulled it into the middle, it ran perfectly for Archie Jones.

He had time to take a touch but from 10 yards he hit a shot straight at Joe Welch, the keeper still doing well to get a hand up as quick as he did and pushed it around the post.

Royston huffed and puffed plenty but they were often pushed back by the high pressing of the home side.

Their only real chance was an effort from James Brighton that flew well wide of Jack Giddens’ goal.

From the minute the goal went in it seemed that the Crows desperately needed to reach the break with no further breaches to their goal.

And it was with a quizzical look that they were watched coming back onto the pitch, looking for any sign of a change to personnel or tactics.

There was nothing and only a double switch changed the flow slightly, Isa Rotimi and Brandon Adams coming on.

It took another 10 minutes after that for Royston to really come to life although in a five-minute spell both sides could and should have scored.

Dan Newton made a superb tackle to deny a clear-cut chance in front of goal, Joe Welch palmed out a Merrifield effort and then Greene inexplicably fired wide from 12 yards.

For Royston it was Adam Murray who had the best chances.

One header landed on the roof of the net, a snap shot was brilliantly saved by Giddens and then the big forward fired over from just inside the box.

But just as it seemed Royston were coming back into it, Stortford increase their lead.

Foxley had made a break but was held up. However, he was able to get a cross in to the back post where Merrifield took a touch and fired across Welch and in.

Giddens almost gifted the Crows an unlikely way back in to the game when he failed to gather a loose ball. However, Adams swing of the leg sent the ball off the outside of the post and behind.

And Stortford wrapped it up three minutes from time.

Davidson had only beem on the pitch for two minutes when he got in down the right side of the box and fired low through the legs of Welch.

It kind of summed up Royston’s night.

Royston Town: Welch, Asafu-Adjaye, Bridges, Murray, Parr, Castiglione, Watkins (Williams 71), Edwards (Adams 55), Galliford (Rotimi 55), Brighton, Newton.

Subs (not used): Smart, Green, Newman.

Booked: Newton 47

Bishop’s Stortford: Giddens, Mvemba, Thomas, Robbins, Henshaw, Marlow, Merrifield (Richardson 83), Greene (Davidson 85), Jones (Baker 80), Foxley, Haines.

Subs (not used): Mullings, Brown.

Goals: Merrifield 28, 75, Davidson 87

HT: Bishop’s Stortford 1 Royston Town 0

Attendance: 600

Referee: Abigail Byrne (Mildenhall)