The Crows progress in the Herts Charity Shield
Oxhey Jets 2 Royston Town 4 (AET) THE Crows progressed to a deserved Herts Charity Shield semi-final after beating Premier Division Oxhey Jets on Wednesday evening. The Jets, fifth in the division, were eventually outdone by Royston's desire and work rate
Oxhey Jets 2 Royston Town 4 (AET)
THE Crows progressed to a deserved Herts Charity Shield semi-final after beating Premier Division Oxhey Jets on Wednesday evening.
The Jets, fifth in the division, were eventually outdone by Royston's desire and work rate after two hours of football.
Paul Attfield again rang the changes, playing seven teenagers in his starting team with six changes from the team that played against Kings Langley at the weekend.
Royston had the better chances early on with a Jamie Morriss cross flashing across the six yard box and a Josh Bronti header bouncing off the cross bar following a free kick.
The first half then became a fast end-to-end affair with the Jets opening the scoring with their first real chance mid-way through the half after Arthur's well timed run was not picked up and he was able to clip over the advancing Jorden Gibson.
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Josh Bronti then missed the chance of the game when, after running though and after beating the keeper, he somehow lobbed over the open goal from 16 yards.
Royston then had a chance cleared off the line when a Morriss corner was flapped at by the Jets' keeper and the ball was headed clear.
At the other end Gibson had to make two smart blocks from swift movements and Royston's opponents also had a goal ruled out for a close offside call but the game remained finely balanced at the interval.
The second half continued in the same vein but the Jets tightened up defensively and Royston's creativity looked less of a threat.
That was until Royston lofted the ball over the stranded keeper from some 40 yards to equalise. The Jets keeper then Craig Hammond after a poor back pass gave him half a chance.
The home side looked to have gained the win with 10 minutes remaining when O'Mara scored a fine individual goal but some late Royston pressure saw them send the game into extra time when with two minutes remaining Gregg Jackson fired in a 25-yard free kick.
The goal sapped the energy from the home team and Royston dominated extra time and had many chances to win more convincingly.
Ricky Young pounced on a loose ball eight yards out from another free kick in the first period to give Royston the lead and the scoring was finished late in the second period when Will Turl directly headed a corner high into the net.
The win sets up a home semi-final clash against Premier Division opposition against either Tring Athletic or Colney Heath in the New Year.
Manager Paul Attfield said: "This was a tremendous game throughout and over the entirety of the game the better team won.
"We were talented, enthusiastic and physically strong against higher opposition and once again the depth in my squad has shown fruition and the players have proven, again, they can more than compete at a higher level."
Royston: Gibson, Apostolos, Debnam, Babbage (Endacott), Cain, Jackson, Welch (Turl), Bronti (Malins), Hammond, Young, Morriss. Unused sub: Edwards