Royston Town surrender three-goal lead to share points at Kings Langley
- Credit: Archant
Ten-man Royston Town squandered a three-goal lead twice as they shared the points at promotion rivals Kings Langley.
In this fourth versus fifth encounter Royston may have thought they had the game won in the first 20 minutes through first-half doubles from Ryan Ingrey and Rob Mason.
However, following a dubious straight red card for Crows’ skipper Scott Bridges just before half-time, the crowd witnessed a painful capitulation and a seemingly unassailable three-goal lead was swept away, which left Steve Castle’s beleaguered men possibly lucky to get a point.
The scoring was opened after early Crows’ pressure and Chris Watters, making his first start for a while, demonstrated his excellent ball delivery, with a well-hit in-swinging corner that swirled in the wind. With home keeper Ant Ladyman punching towards his own goal, Ingrey claimed a last touch and the ball hit the back of the net.
Inside 20 minutes it was 3-0. First Rob Mason timed a header perfectly to double the lead and then a cheeky cut-in from Rhys Hoenes left him looking for a pass rather than a shot and following a short set-up release he was blatantly tripped and referee Adrian Gillett pointed to the spot. A confident Mason blasted home the penalty.
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To their credit Kings Langley rallied a little and did get one back on 33 minutes against the run of play as Danny May’s free-kick on the edge of the box was charged down and on the break, Dean Hitchcock finished.
Four minutes later and the three-goal lead was regained as Ingrey nodded in under some pressure.
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With Royston still dominant, the game swung in the hosts’ favour. Bridges make a committed tackle just inside his own half, that the referee adjudged a cynical foul.
From the resultant free-kick the shell-shocked and disorganised Crows dealt poorly with the delivery and Lorenzo Ferrari struck the ball in.
Langley smelled blood and on 63 minutes it was 4-3 as David Hutton poked beyond the keeper. The Crows were all at sea.
Four minutes later Hutton got his second and equalising goal as the Crows had no real answers and looked in continued disarray and constantly vulnerable.
Despite several chances for the home side, Royston hung on but this surrender will be a bitter blow.