Match Report: Hanwell Town v Royston Town

Date Saturday 10 September 2016
Match Hanwell Town v Royston Town
Competition Evostik League Southern: Division One Central
Result Lost 4-1
Royston Scorers Fehmi
Crows MoM

Royston Town suffered their second 4-1 defeat in three weeks of football and in what manager Steve Castle described as an “Off Day” showed recurring themes of under-performance in front of goal and the goals conceded could have read higher if it wasn’t for some good stops by Joe Welch in the first half – plus a headed clearance off the line – and the half time interval score could have read 6-0.

Castle chose to bench Joe DeLaSalle, despite a good performance last week, bringing back Adam Murray and skipper Scott Bridges came straight back into the starting line-up, moving Danny May back to right back. Other players were given run outs for the Reserves for varying manager’s reasons.

The Crows just weren’t at the races today, what efforts on goal we did see were either off target or blocked before they troubled Melvin Minter in the Hanwell goal and the livelier, more engaged, home strikers more than did enough to stretch the bedraggled and scrambling Royston defenders.

In the first five minutes we saw two longish shots from Scott Bridges and Spyros Mentis blocked by committed defenders and on 9 minutes Welch tipped over a good attempt on the Crows goal and on 15 minutes a Royston free-kick was easily dealt with and the resultant breakaway again saw Welch called upon to make a good block with his legs and the ball lobbed up for a Hanwell striker to head wide when he should have done better.

On 16 minutes, Hanwell’s extremely lively number 7, Khale De Costa, blazed down the right wing leaving Chris Watters standing and a cut inside led to an unstoppable curling shot high past the helpless Welch. 1-0.

The home side lead was doubled 6 minutes later and this came from a direct header from a corner as the Crows’ two big central defenders were out-jumped, with a hint of climbing, and Calum Duffy netted a clean header into the net. 2-0.

A scrappy period of play ensued as the Crows tried to re-group, but retention of the ball was surrendered too easy and too often. On the half hour Kaan Fehmi led some better attacking play and his run and cut in up the right wing saw his angle tight and his firm shot was slightly touched onto the post by Minter and away.

This glimpse of hope was doused when on 36 minutes Royston ex-player, Will Turl, playing his first match for 12 months, broke through centrally and planted a solid shot high into the visitor’s net. 3-0.

Half time and the Crows trailed by three goals with Hanwell clinical and ruthless in front of goal and with Royston defenders too far away from their opponents and the away team midfielders also playing catch up.

Castle changed strikers at half time, swapping Simon Thomas for John Frendo, but the first 5 minutes of the second half again saw the Crows’ defence scrambling to keep the pushing Hanwell boys out. Royston eased themselves into the half and Watters put over a good ball that led to a decent effort from Fehmi and Josh Castiglione had a shot tipped over the bar.

The hour mark saw the second team change as Stuart Bridges replaced Mentis and almost immediately the Crows scored their only goal on 63 minutes. Ryan Frater put in a hanging free-kick that Murray headed back across the goal into a dangerous area and Fehmi hooked in from 4 yards. 3-1.

With the game stretched, Hanwell saw opportunities on the break and hit the Royston bar. Up the other end Frendo’s strength in the box brought his own shot that hit the home team post and was hacked clear.

The game was up on 85 minutes when Scott Bridges was adjudged to have fouled in the box and the resultant penalty was placed home low right by Dean Allen. 4-1.

A day to forget for the Crows and Castle must delve into his enviable squad and find the right combination and commitment to challenge in every game to get performances of the level needed to compete in this competitive division.

Team:  Welch, May, Watters, Bridges Sco, Murray, Frater, Mentis (Bridges Stu), Fehmi, Thomas (Frendo), Powell (Cohen), Castiglione.

Subs not used – DeLaSalle, Brathwaite.