Match Report: Royston Town v Kidlington

Date Saturday 6 August 2016
Match Royston Town v Kidlington
Competition Evostik League Southern: Division One Central 
Result Drew 1-1
Royston Scorers Jack Bradshaw
Crows MoM Adam Murray

This was a disappointing result to the start of another promotion seeking season. Royston Town make no secret of their desire for promotion but under-whelming performances like this may leave them short again. To achieve a top of the table finish it is vital to maximise the points catch from the home fixtures and this can only be viewed as two points dropped.

The inability to convert numerous chances, mainly in the first half, into goals or even shots on target 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 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 on 33 minutes from Jack Bradshaw to break the dead-lock. 1-0.

The visitors 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. Royston took their slender lead into the half time dressing room.

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 poleaxed 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 you could see Kidlington growing in confidence believing they could get something from this 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 being adjudged a foul and penalty and Kidlington skipper Lewis Brownhill stepped up to slot home. 1-1.

The only bright spot from this match was the performance of debutant centre back Adam Murray who was majestic and committed throughout, continuing his good pre-season form, but he needs the stability from a first choice, settled back four around him as soon as possible.

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

Team:  Paine, Scott-Morriss, Watters (May), Bridges Scott, Murray, Bridges Stuart, Bradshaw, Mentis, Cohen (Castiglione), Fehmi (Ingrey), Frater N.

Subs not used – Towner, De La Salle.