|Date||Saturday 16th September 2017|
|Match||Braintree Town v Royston Town|
|Competition||Emirates FA Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round|
|Royston Scorers||Scott Bridges, Marriott|
An incident packed second half ended with The Crows more than deservedly leaving Cressing Road with a draw against their Conference South opponents.
The first half was a continuation from Tuesday’s hard-working display against Kings Lynn, with Royston pressing Braintree hard, giving then very little time on the ball and not a sniff of Joe Welch’s goal. Royston also struggled to penetrate the home defence but they did produce the one moment of quality that saw them go into the half time interval ahead. This came in the 23rd minute when Adam Marriott received the ball in the Braintree box and managed to create half a yard for himself to cut the ball back from the byline and leave the arriving Scott Bridges a simple tap in.
The second half was a much more open affair as both attacking units worked the defences harder, Marriott saw an early shot well saved by home custodian Nathan McDonald and Jack Vasey headed just over.
Braintree were now getting more into the match and scored an equaliser in the 52nd minute when good work from Billy Crook set up substitute Luke Allen for an easy finish. Eight minutes later Braintree had turned the tie around as Karl Oliyide’s powerful run down the right, set up Phil Roberts, whose effort rebounded off the post and back to Oliyide for him to finish and reward him the goal is earlier play merited.
To Royston’s great credit the goals did not affect their performance and they were back in the tie on 67 minutes as Marriott wriggled free and fired the ball across McDonald into the bottom corner for a well-deserved equaliser. The good work was nearly undone though, as almost instantly Tyler Campbell was presented with an easy chance to gain back the lead for Braintree, but he skyed his effort well over the bar when it looked easier to score.
Royston’s task was made harder in the 83rd minute when full back Romelle Alomenu received two yellow cards in very quick succession to leave the Crows with 10 men. The 10 men were comfortably holding out for the draw until the 92nd minute, when a long ball left Reece Grant in the clear with what looked a clear-cut opportunity to win the game. However, a magnificently timed tackle by the fast recovering Adam Murray snuffed out the opportunity. Almost immediately the referee brought the game to an end, bemusing players and the crowd alike, having only played 90 seconds of the minimum of three minutes he had indicated.
Royston: 1-Welch, 2-Asafu-Adjaye, 3-Alomenu (sent off 83), 4-Bridges, Scott (c), 5-Murray, 6-Bridges, Stuart (15-Castiglione 69), 7-Scott-Morriss (14-Ingrey 61), 8-Corcoran, 9-Marriott, 10-Vasey (12-Frendo 61), 11-Potton
Unused: 16-Kennelly, 18-Chappell, 19-Ives, GK-Tewkesbury
|ROYSTON TOWN||BRAINTREE TOWN|
|4||EFFORTS ON TARGET||2|
|8||EFFORTS OFF TARGET||6|
|14||FREE KICKS AWARDED||13|