Match Report: AFC Hayes v Royston Town

  Saturday 27th April 2013
Match AFC Hayes v Royston Town
Competition Evo-Stik League Southern: Central Division One
Result Draw 2-2
Royston Scorer Malins, Spencer
Attendance 69
Crows MoM Ryan Lockett

This is the way the league season ends: Not with bang but a whimper.


Royston Town’s 2012/2013 league season came to a close on Saturday with an ultimately disappointing draw at AFC Hayes. The Crow’s needed three points from this game plus a win from Ashford against rivals Beaconsfield to secure that fourth play-off place and for a brief period it looked like it may happen only to see it agonisingly ripped from their grasp with an 87th minute AFC Hayes’ equaliser.


In a largely uninspiring first half Royston took an early sixth minute lead with Ryan Lockett delivering a good corner to find an unmarked Tommy Malins in space to calmly side-foot volley home from 4 yards. A curling Lockett shot was heading in the top corner until an impressive diving save from Hayes’ keeper Goode tipped it wide. Heavy tackling on both Ryan Ingrey and Luke Robins saw the latter replaced on twenty minutes and this took the wind out of the visitor’s sails and the first half meandered to an end.  Without doubt the home side came out the more fired up in the second half and before they really got going Royston found the scores level as sloppy defending cost them three minutes in with Mendi punishing the errors. Royston did respond and Lee Wilson was making some sort of progress overlapping up the left wing and Ryan Lockett was having a good game creating decent chances.


The industrious Ryan Ingrey finally succumbed to continued heavy challenges and was replaced by top scorer Kaan Fehmi but it was via an unexpected source that the lead was regained. A free-kick was delivered into the box and the home keeper misjudged it leaving a loose ball and after two urgent swings Sam Spencer finally struck it low into the net.


With word filtering through that Ashford were winning against Beaconsfield, Paul Attfield made the decision to try and sit on this 2-1 lead and replaced the effective Ryan Lockett with the more defensively minded Carl Edwards but this move only served to bring the Hayes play further up the pitch and pin the Crows in their own last third. With the unlikely six point swing looking possible, disaster hit Royston as poor defending led to several missed clearance chances and the ball came in low from the left to see Williams volley across the goal into the net to break the Royston hearts. Frantic efforts to get a winner never really brought any real shots on the Hayes’ goal in these last seconds and the Crow’s struggled to get out of their own half and the game finished as a 2-2 draw giving Beaconsfield enough for that coveted play-off place.


Team – Reynolds, Endacott,Wilson, Bradshaw, DeLaSalle, Collins (c), Spencer, Malins,  Ingrey (Fehmi), Lockett (Edwards), Robins (Standen).  Subs not used – Parr.