Shoot-out agony for Royston Town as Kingstonian advance in FA Trophy

Royston Town hosted Kingstonian in the FA Trophy at Garden Walk.

Royston Town hosted Kingstonian in the FA Trophy at Garden Walk. - Credit: NEIL METCALFE

Royston Town paid the penalty as they exited the FA Trophy in the first round to Kingstonian in the shoot-out.

Gus Sow had put the visitors ahead from 12 yards in the first half but Dan Newton equalised four minutes after the restart.

However, there were no more goals as the 90 minutes ended 1-1 and in the end despite one good save from Joe Welch, a miss from Spyros Mentis and then an effort from Isaac Galliford saved by Rob Tolfrey sent the Crows out.

They had the better chances over the course of  the game and whether the penalty in the first half was actually a foul, or in the box, can be debated long into the night.

And although penalties is always a horrible way to go out, the fact they didn't take those chances ultimately proved costly.

The visitors enjoyed the better start in the first half but Royston really should have been ahead long before the controversial moments.

Brandon Adams in particular, recalled to the side after missing the last few, had two glorious chances one-on-one with Rob Tolfrey in the Kingston goal, both teams the keeper came out on top by blocking the low effort.

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Spyros Mentis also had two headed chances, one glanced wide of the target and the other put tamely into Tolfrey's hands.

Another header from Dan Newton seemed to be on target but was hit a body on its way through, seemingly team-mate Adam Murray's, and went wide.

Kingston though had plenty of players at the sharp end of the pitch who could cause trouble and a defender in Bryant Akono-Bilongo who was more than capable of delivering a decent cross.

One flumuxed Joe Welch as Elliot Buchanan missed a header in front of him but the Crows keeper made a good stop from a Declan Skura shot that bounced just in front of him.

The controversial moments came just after the 20 minutes mark.

First a shove on Sow was deemed a shoulder-barge and a similar one moments later on Mentis was similarly waved away, although the loose ball ran to Adams for one of his big chances.

A minute later though and just as a Kingstonian break seemed to have unravelled of its own accord, a tackle judged to be inside the box earned the visitors a penalty.

Sow dispatched it with impressive style, sending Welch to his left and putting the ball high into the opposite corner.

The rest of the half was forgettable from both teams but there would have been work to do in the home dressing room by Crows boss Steve Castle.

It appeared that was most definitely the case as not only were Royston level in four minutes but they could well have been in front in the opening 10 minutes.

Adams turned a shot wide just 13 seconds after the restart and then Murray thundered a header off the crossbar before Kingstonian scrambling it behind.

That was just the prelude to the goal and in almost identical circumstances to one of the seven at St Ives last month, James Brighton's delivery was guided in at the near post by Dan Newton.

Simon Cooper produced a sensational block from a teasing cross to prevent a second minutes later and then Murray had another thumping header but that was straight at Tolfrey.

The Crows continued to look the more likely to score but the number of chances began to dry up, bar one glorious chance from Ed Asafu-Adjaye who blasted one skyward from the edge of the box when he had time to do far better.

In the end the looming spectre of penalties made it nervy and limited any clear-cut chances.

And it spelt the end of the road for the Crows in the FA Trophy.

Royston Town: Welch, Asafu-Adjaye, Bridges, Murray, Henry (Rotimi 81), Draper (Newman 88), Adams, Galliford, Brighton, Mentis, Newton.

Subs (not used): Williams, Brathwaite, Keeley, Brown.

Goals: Newton 49

Booked: Brighton 10, Galliford 43, Mentis 77

Kingstonian: Tolfrey, Clunis, Akono-Bilongo, Cooper, Skura (Cook 37), Beaney, Ajakaiye, Sow, Buchanan, Banton, Murrell-Williamson (Samuels 82).

Subs (not used): Barton, Spencer, Gjoshe.

Goals: Sow (pen) 22

Booked: Beane 78

HT: Royston Town 0 Kingstonian 1

Referee: Craig Barnett (Basildon)