Still unbeaten but Crows facing up to lesson that they are the ones to beat

PUBLISHED: 08:38 23 September 2020

Josh Castiglione got the first goal in Royston Town's 2-2 draw with Banbury United in the Southern League. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Josh Castiglione got the first goal in Royston Town's 2-2 draw with Banbury United in the Southern League. Picture: KARYN HADDON

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Royston Town continued the competitive part of the season unbeaten but found both games to contain the same valuable lesson – this year they are going to have a target on their back.

Brandon Adams got the second goal in Royston Town's 2-2 draw with Banbury United in the Southern League. Picture: KARYN HADDONBrandon Adams got the second goal in Royston Town's 2-2 draw with Banbury United in the Southern League. Picture: KARYN HADDON

They had already disposed of Newmarket Town in the preliminary round of the FA Cup in a good, if not fantastic, 6-0 win over Newmarket Town and kept that going on Tuesday night with a 2-0 success at home to Wroxham.

Jonny Edwards put them ahead from the penalty spot but it wasn’t until deep into stoppage time at the end of the game that Isaac Galliford finally put the game beyond the Eastern Counties League Premier Division side, who play two levels below Town.

In between those fixtures, their first Southern League Premier Division Central match ended in a 2-2 draw with Banbury United at Garden Walk.

They had been one of the biggest draws in the FA Cup over the last two seasons while their form in the league last year, as well as the run to the FA Trophy quarter-final, have marked them out as one of the favourites for the title this time around.

Saturday’s game was definitely a case of two points dropped according to the boss.

Banbury had taken the lead on 30 minutes with a bizarre deflected effort but Josh Castiglione equalised two minutes later and nine minutes after the break Brandon Adams had put the Crows ahead.

They held that lead until seven minutes from time when another deflection led to a second away goal.

And Castle believes the fighting spirit shown by the Puritans is something Royston will have to get used to this season.

Speaking on the club website about the Banbury game he said: “It was generally disappointing but what we have learned that nothing this year will be easy. We are now a scalp for teams and one to beat.

“In some ways it is a compliment but it doesn’t make things easier, especially at home.

“We started the game okay with a few opportunities to score. Banbury put a lot of players behind the ball and at most times had their whole team behind the ball to defend, as is their right.

“We have got to deal with these scenarios and show a degree of patience to prise our opponents open.

“They went ahead with probably their second attack but we responded very well, scoring pretty much straight away, and we were reasonably happy at half-time.

“We were okay in the second-half. We created some half chances but nothing really clear cut.

“Overall I don’t think that they did enough but then we didn’t finish the game off so fair play to them for getting their draw.

“The games are coming thick and fast now and as with everything, it will be the following results that will dictate how good or bad a result this was.

“All we can do is look to the next match.”

Those take the Crows to Alvechurch on Saturday, the side who lost 5-1 to Hitchin Town on day one, before they head to Needham Market on Tuesday.

The draw for the second qualifying round of the FA Cup is set for Friday.


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