Royston Town start Southern League Division One Central season with disappointing draw

Jack Bradshaw celebrates his goal

Jack Bradshaw celebrates his goal - Credit: Archant

Royston Town began the new Southern League Division One Central season with a under-whelming 1-1 home draw with new boys Kidlington on Saturday.

This was a disappointing result at the start of another promotion-seeking season.

The inability to convert numerous chances into goals, mainly in the first half, was again painful for the watching supporters.

Domination of the half did not lead to open play goals – a problem that was evident last season and seemingly not addressed for this new campaign – and the lack of shots on the Kidlington net, despite high work rate and visible effort, was tangible.

The visitors arrived with only 12 players and were forced to field their one substitute after 25 minutes and with the flow of the game being mainly with the Crows, Kidlington must have felt they were in for a tough afternoon.

The Crows’ persistence with their longer ball game and the weight of possession finally produced results and it took a fantastic left-foot 20-yard effort from Jack Bradshaw on 33 minutes to break the deadlock.

The away side had a good chance to even the game just before half-time but the effort was hurried and slotted just wide of the left-hand post.

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The second half saw early Crows substitutions as Ryan Ingrey replaced Kaan Fehmi and Josh Castiglione came on for Gary Cohen after the latter was pole-axed by a coming together with the Kidlington keeper.

The start to the half was fragmented and scrappy and it took both side 10 minutes to really start the second half.

Royston’s failure to take their chances continued and thus Kidlington grew in confidence, believing they could get something from the game.

It was a familiar feeling of inevitability that when on 90 minutes the referee pointed to the spot following an innocuous challenge by substitute Danny May – on for Chris Watters – with what looked like a 50/50 shoulder challenge. Up stepped Kidlington skipper Lewis Brownhill to slot home.

The only bright spot from the match was the performance of debutant centre back Adam Murray who was majestic and committed throughout, continuing his good pre-season form.

Disappointing was the word from manager Steve Castle and Royston need to put this right quickly – but tonight’s trip to Bedford will prove a tough challenge to regain the pre-season confidence and score goals.