We must stay focused on the league - Attfield

PUBLISHED: 16:27 07 December 2011

Paul Attfield

Paul Attfield

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Crows boss doesn't want FA Vase drama to undermine promotion push

PAUL ATTFIELD says it’s important his team remain focused on their league form after being drawn away to Bournemouth in the FA Vase fourth round.

The Crows will make the long trip to the south on January 21, and despite excitement around the club, the manager says the league must remain the priority.

“You go a little bit into the unknown in this tournament,” Attfield told the Royston Crow. “From a club point of view they would have liked a home draw but I think we’ve played better football away from home. It’s something the lads are looking forward to and we’ll go down there the night before and stay over.

“I think – on paper – it’s a reasonable draw. We could have had it a lot worse and it’s definitely a winnable game.

“I’m going to go and watch them a couple of times before we play them, but we’ve got a bit of time as we’ve got six or seven weeks to go. But we’ve just got to concentrate on our league games in the meantime.”

The Crows were in action in the Herts Senior Cup on Tuesday night when they eventually overcame St Margaretsbury in their second round tie.

A much-changed Royston were well below-par during the first half, and created very few goalscoring opportunities. St Margaretsbury went ahead on 13 minutes when their striker muscled past Jason Beck and his low cross from the byline was turned in by the unfortunate David Cain in front of his own goal.

The Crows were markedly improved after the half-time break, as it appeared the Saints’ fitness levels wilted as the match went on. The introduction of striker Matt Standen on 65 minutes soon reaped its reward as he equalised on 73 minutes. Luke Robins, who had endured a frustrating first half but gradually became more influential in the second, broke from the middle of the park before finding left-back Danny Apostolos on the left. The left-back sent a low first-time ball into the box towards Standen, who had peeled off his marker superbly, before guiding the ball past the Saints ‘keeper.

Royston stepped up the tempo after the equaliser and further chances were forged and wasted as the clock ticked down. However the winner arrived six minutes from time when a neat through-ball into the box was slotted past the ‘keeper by Standen for his second.

The striker was denied a hat-trick in added-on time when his one-on-one effort with the ‘keeper was well saved.

The draw for the quarter-final will be made on Tuesday, December 13.

“We were a bit slow with our decision making in the first half but we injected a bit more tempo in the second half and we were probably unlucky not to win by a few more in the end,” added Attfield.

“This tournament isn’t a priority but it’s still nice to win. We brought on Matty and Tommy (Malins) and they both helped us win the match.”

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