Match Report: Haringey Borough v Royston Town

Date Saturday 30 April 2011
Match Haringey Borough v Royston Town
Competition Spartan South Midlands League: Premier Division
Result Lost 2-1
Royston Scorers Lockett (pen)
Man of Match Lewis Endacott
Attendance 64

The 2010/2011 season for Royston Town unfortunately ended not with a bang but a whimper. The Crows travelled to Haringey Borough looking for a result and score-line that would keep them above Tring Athletic in second place and set out their stall, not only for the South Midlands Senior Floodlit Cup Final versus Tring on Thursday, but also a strong statement of intention for next season.

Royston were fast, skilful and creative most of the game, but as so often this season, poor when it came to finishing the many forward moves and putting the game beyond their opposition in the first half. Similar lack of clinical conversions in the second half saw Royston’s only goal coming from a Ryan Lockett penalty and then subsequently allowing Boro take and score their only two real chances to win the game. All this whilst Tring scrambled a draw against Colney Heath to leap-frog Royston to secure second place.

After a period of initial sparring in blustery conditions and with Haringey sitting back a bit, the first real chance of the game fell to Royston in the 19th minute when Rhys Lawrence delivered a good cross for Tom Malins to head well and Boro’s goalkeeper Greg Thurstans produced a fine one handed save. Seven minutes later Malins again rose to head on target but this time the effort was cleared off the line by a defender and in the 34th minute Lockett expertly brought down a Carl Edwards cross and his half volley was again well saved. Haringey’s number 10, Daniel Ailey, was showing good strength and aggression and causing Lewis Endacott some problems but Royston’s reliable full-back was doing some good work containing this threat. The Crow’s continued to press producing two real chances, the first was a Lockett flick on that fell to skipper Ross Collins who shot wide and the second when a Lockett free-kick was half cleared and Malins’ effort on target was more of a back pass than a shot. The half finished goal-less and Assistant Manager Duncan Easley, in charge today with Manager Paul Attfield away, must have been left wondering what his undoubtedly superior team of footballers had to do to score today.

The start of the second half saw Danny Apostolos replace the injured Jack Bradshaw at left back and again we saw Haringey sitting back and the first ten minutes were non-eventful as Royston got their passing game going again. Some good movement produced a chance for Collins who again shot wide. Collins again put another effort wide following a quick break-away from a Boro corner with good work from Ricky Young and Malins setting up their captain. A double shout for hand-ball in the home team’s penalty area brought a decision for a spot kick from the referee and Lockett stepped up to drive a shot low left that the keeper got a hand to but couldn’t keep out and based on possession and chances created, Royston had a deserved lead with 25 minutes to go. Some persistent running by Young supplied Malins with a chance but his effort went straight at the grateful keeper. On 77 minutes Lawrence gave the ball away too easily in midfield and the Crow’s defence lazily stood back to see a first Boro effort hit the post and rebound to striker Ailey who was given far too much time to accurately side foot a shot into the net leaving Jorden Gibson to berate his inert defence. Lawrence was immediately replaced by Martin Standen. Worse was to follow three minutes later as Gibson’s remonstrations had obviously not been heeded as a long ball over the top fell to Boro skipper David Boal who lobbed the helpless keeper to take the lead. With ten minutes left this score-line forced Easley to go for broke and he substituted defender David Cain for winger Paul Klein. With 3 minutes remaining Haringey hit the bar from a speculative long shot and the Crows surged forward with Klein delivering a fine cross for Lockett to glance a pass quickly to Collins arriving at the back post only to see him miss the target from three yards and Royston’s last chance to get something from this frustrating game went begging.

Team: Gibson, Endacott, Bradshaw (Apostolos), Cain (Klein), McGrandles, Edwards, Collins (C), Malins, Young, Lawrence (Martin Standen), Lockett.