|Date||Saturday 4th November 2017|
|Match||Hemel Hempstead Town v Royston Town|
|Competition||Herts FA Charity Cup: Semi-Final|
Royston were the architects of their own downfall, as individual errors were ruthlessly punished by Conference South side Hemel Hempstead, resulting in the home side progressing into the final of the Herts Charity Cup.
With a handful of niggling injuries, Steve Castle once again used the game to fully rotate his squad, and despite the Tudors fielding something resembling their first-choice line up, the sides were fairly evenly matched throughout.
It was Royston who drew first blood in the 26th minute, as from Sam Corcoran’s deep free kick, Josh Oyinsan used his large frame, to steer a back-post header past Boness in the Hemel goal. The Tudor’s first real sight of goal didn’t arrive until the 33rd minute as Spring played in Kaloczi, but after his initial effort was blocked, Mason Tewkesbury was equal to the follow up effort.
With Royston seemingly comfortably dealing with everything the home side had to offer, they would have been disappointed to sloppily concede a penalty 4 minutes before half time. A loose throw out from Tewkesbury was picked up by Connolly who drove towards the Crows penalty area. Ed Asafu-Adjaye illegally thwarted the full backs progress, with the initial contact appearing to take place outside the box. The momentum of the driving run resulted in Connolly ending up inside the box with the referee dubiously deeming the offence to have taken place inside the penalty area. All this was immaterial to home skipper Jordan Parkes who confidently converted the kick into the top of the net giving Tewkesbury no chance.
Hemel took the lead in the 59th minute as, following a corner, McCall collected the ball on the edge of the Royston area. A quick exchange of passes with Parkes created enough space for him to expertly curl in a right foot shot.
Royston continued to press, enjoying more possession but struggled to breach an experienced home defence. John Frendo and Josh Castiglione both had chances that were blocked or unable to seriously test Boness in the home goal.
The nail in the Royston coffin came in the 85th minute as a loose Royston pass just inside the Hemel half was quickly seized upon by McCall. He drove forward into the Royston half and timed his pass to perfection to send Hoskin racing through. An emphatic finish off the underside of the bar sealed the victory.
The icing was put on the cake in the third minute of stoppage time, as a misplaced Royston throw was collected by Spring some 40 yards out. Looking up and quickly assessing the situation, he fired off an almost instant shot that sailed over Tewkesbury into the net.
Having more than matched their higher league opponents for most of the match 4-1 was a harsh score line on the Crows. A little bit of hesitancy on the ball and individual mistakes that were expertly capitalised on, meant that it was Hemel who triumphed and booked a place in the final against Hitchin Town.
Royston: 1-Tewkesbury, 2-Asafu-Adjaye, 3-Alomenu, 4-Corcoran, 5-Darling, 6-Brathwaite © (12-Murray 45), 7-Castiglione, 8-Powell, 9-Frendo, 10-Oyinsan (15-Ingrey 60), 11-Vasey (17-Potton 60)
Unused: Chappell, Scott-Morriss
|ROYSTON TOWN||HEMEL HEMPSTEAD TOWN|
|4||EFFORTS ON TARGET||7|
|3||EFFORTS OFF TARGET||6|
|14||FREE KICKS AWARDED||11|