Sucker-punch sends Crows out

PUBLISHED: 11:58 21 March 2012

Martin Standen powers home an early header against Ely. photo by Kevin Richards

Martin Standen powers home an early header against Ely. photo by Kevin Richards

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Last-gasp goal knocks Royston out at semi-final stage of Cambs Invitation Cup

Ely City 2

Royston Town 1

Cambs Invitation Cup semi-final

A SUCKER-punch goal five minutes into injury time condemned the Crows to defeat against the current leaders of the Ridgeons Premier Division in the Cambs Cup on Tuesday night.

While there was plenty of effort from both sides the general quality of play was poor with Royston, in particular, struggling to play anywhere near their best football despite taking an early fourth-minute lead. Martin Standen sent a bullet header into the top corner from Joe Clemo’s set-piece.

Ely had the lion’s share of possession with a long ball approach to their game and constantly peppered the area with high balls from corners and throw-ins.

The Crows defended well but conceded a soft equaliser on 25 minutes when Standen was adjudged to have handled in the area with the resulting penalty from Richard Chadwick sending Will Norris the wrong way.

The second half was littered with persistent misplaced passes and the constant drone of the referee’s whistle and the game had no chance of gaining any rhythm. Neither team created anything worthwhile until the first clear chance from open play in the entire game arrived deep into added time.

Royston had chances to clear a free-kick but failed to do so and Austin Diaper tucked a free chance into the corner of the net from 10 yards.

There was no time to restart the game and Ely progressed to the final where they will face Soham Town. The Crows, however, can now firmly concentrate on their title aspirations.

Royston Town: Norris, Bradshaw, Grinham (Collins), McGrandles, Beck, Martin Standen, Edwards (Malins), Clemo, Matt Standen (Robins), Fehmi, Young.

Attendance: 117

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