Match Report: AFC Hayes v Royston Town

Date Tuesday 10 February 2015
Match AFC Hayes v Royston Town
Competition Evo-Stik League Southern: Division One Central
Result Lost 2-0
Royston Scorers
Jake Cass (AFC Hayes)

Continuing their turbulent and frustrating season midweek travelling Royston Town plumbed new depths with a display of abject ineptitude against lowly AFC Hayes – who thoroughly deserved their victory – demonstrating desire, commitment and an energetic will to win – all noticeably absent from the weary looking and toothless Crows.

Reinvigorated, second from bottom Brook soaked up whatever pressure their visitors could muster and always looked threatening on the break with David Manu showing good pace down the left, Ryan Debattista always probing and skipper Jake Cass completely dominating the midfield encounter.

Royston’s forward endeavour culminated in sparse, loose crossed passes that not once cleanly found a well placed attacker or were delivered too close to the tall Mervyn Minter in the Brook goal who competently either punched effectively or caught cleanly.

With the first half drawing to a merciful close the Crows presented the Brook with a gift of a goal. Dave Theobald’s back pass should have been cleared by Ron Yates but instead his mis-kick fell straight to the eager Debattista who took it round the scrambling keeper and slotted home. Farm Park went into unusual shocked delirium and the bewildered Royston players had no answers.

The second half was a series of poor passing, wrong choices and committed Hayes midfield thwarted attacks as the Crows desperately tried to find some form, interspersed with lightning breaks from their hosts.

On 66 minutes a Royston attack breakdown and foul claim near the half-way line was allowed to play on and a 25 yard direct purposeful run from Debattista drove into the box and planted a shot by Yates for 2-0.

Steve Castle tried to enliven his players with changes replacing Kaan Fehmi, Gary Hart and George Boot with Ryan Lockett, the returning Luke Robins and Jack Bradshaw respectively, but despite some good work by Lockett the half did not improve for the lifeless Crows. Bradshaw chalked up the visitor’s one and only on target effort late on with a direct shot at confident keeper Minter.

The Brook easily secured just their second home victory and fourth win out of 29 games against a worryingly below par Royston, whose own play-off chasing season is hanging by a thread and increasingly dependent on their top 8 rivals slipping up as the Crows suffered a third consecutive league loss with a glaring absence of any goals scored. 

Team: Yates, Wharton, Watters, McDevitt, Theobald, Bridges Scott, Bridges Stuart, Mentis, Boot (Bradshaw), Fehmi (Lockett), Hart (Robins).

Subs not used – Nightingale, Collins.