Wembley dream a genuine possibility

ROYSTON TOWN manager Paul Attfield says his side is more than capable of reaching the latter stages of this season’s FA Carlsberg Vase – but admits there will be plenty of tough obstacles to overcome first.

The Crows secured a Third Round clash away at Spartan South Midlands League rivals Haringey Borough on December 3 after coming from behind to beat Thetford Town 3-1 at Garden Walk last Saturday. And despite his team firing well on all fronts, Attfield knows there are far tougher tests to surmount if they are to earn a dream day out at Wembley Stadium for the final in May.

“I think the players believe [they can make it to the final],” Attfield told the Royston Crow. “I believe we have a squad capable of getting to the very latter stages, but there are some very strong Step 5 leagues – especially in the north east and north west of England. So we’ll need a bit of luck in the draw – ideally you want home ties – but you also need luck in games where anything can happen. But if we can play at our optimum level we can certainly push on.”

Attfield was especially pleased with how his team dealt with Thetford’s dirty tactics on Saturday, which resulted in the visitors being reduced to 10 men after just 30 minutes.

“I was surprised by their tactics to be honest.” explained Attfield.

“Credit to our players for not getting involved, but a couple of them took strong knocks. We struggled early on but once Tommy (Malins) got the equaliser I thought we dominated.

“I knew Thetford had watched us a couple of times, but I would have expected a team who had won all their matches this season to attempt to put their stamp on the match and play good football. The way they approached the game was their downfall in the end, and although the referee was weak, we stuck with it and got our rewards.”

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Attfield says he was surprised to draw Haringey in the next round, but insists it’s a winnable tie nonetheless. He added: “We’ve already beaten them this season, and although we’ll be away from home against a technically good side that are on a decent run, I know we can get at their defence and I know they are susceptible to set-plays.”

The Crows get back to league action on Saturday when they host mid-table Colney Heath, and Attfield will warn his team to expect a similar battle to that of last weekend.

He said: “I expect them to approach the game like Thetford did. They have got the most yellow and red cards in the division, but we can’t let it affect our attractive game, so it’s important we address that.”