FA Cup tie at Balham the most important of the season so far says Royston Town’s Steve Castle

Royston Towns Chris Watters (left) and manager Steve Castle. Picture: DANNY LOO

Royston Towns Chris Watters (left) and manager Steve Castle. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Steve Castle has made his views abundantly clear ahead of their FA Cup second qualifying round tie – this is the “most important match of the season so far”.

They have only made it beyond this round once in their history, that back in the 1999 competition when they were finally beaten in the third qualifying round by Boreham Wood.

But they won't get many better chances, playing against a Balham side were only formed in 2011 and who compete in the Combined Counties League Premier Division, two levels below the Crows.

Castle though is taking nothing for granted as he told the club's website.

He said: "There are several reasons why for me and for the staff it is the most important match of the season so far.

"One, it's the next match but two, progression enables us to keep things as they are in regards to players staying with us.

"And thirdly we want a decent cup run.

Most Read

"It's pretty much business as usual but with an edge this week The players and staff know the importance so we need to go to the game prepared and ready."

Royston head into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw away to AFC Rushden & Diamonds, a result which leaves them outside the Southern League Premier Division Central play-off places.

The boss wasn't overly happy with the performance though.

"For me the game just didn't get going," he said. "I thought they had the better chances and we struggled to get any sort of flow to our game.

"Our one real bit of quality led to us going into the lead, a superb cross from Adam Crowther and an excellent finish by Matt Bateman.

"It was a lead we didn't deserve in my opinion but one we gladly took into half-time.

"Our standards have been set extremely high this year and we do not want to let them drop but at times they have.

"So we keep going, we don't look for excuses but remain positive.

"We are hardly in a bad position but as I said earlier the boys now have high standards to keep too.

"They all have their individual goals and most have strong competition for their places which I alluded to after the game."

Royston have been drawn away to Welwyn Garden City in the Southern League Cup.