|Date||Tuesday 10th April 2018|
|Match||Royston Town v Banbury United|
|Competition||Evostik League Southern: Premier Division|
The Crows were ultimately unable to beat a resolute Banbury side that were set up to earn a point, so went home the happier of the 2 sides.
The match kicked off late as the referee had to rouse Banbury from the visiting changing rooms and in the early stages it appeared that the Puritans had still left some players in there. The first chance arrived in the 4th minute as Lee Chappell raced onto a long ball and was unfortunate to see an almost perfectly judged lob bounce off the top of the bar. The home crowd soon had a goal to celebrate, as with just 9 minutes played, an Ed Asafu-Ajaye pull back was, via the inside of the post, tucked into the net by Martel Powell, who had timed his run to perfection.
It was all Royston at this stage and it was nearly 2 nil 5 minutes later, as a deep cross by Asafu-Adjaye was headed back towards the penalty spot by Scott Bridges, where it was met with a thumping left foot volley by John Frendo. Unfortunately this time the woodwork didn’t aid the Crows, as the ball cannoned down off the underside of the bar, just the wrong side of the line.
Having quite conceivably deserved a 3 goal lead, the Crows failed to push on from their bright opening. As the first half wore on Banbury gained a foot hold in the game and enjoyed more possession, but they did little with it, as the Royston back line dealt comfortably with the few questions asked by the away attackers, as the home side took a well deserved lead into the interval.
The second half started along the same vein, with both midfields working hard but largely cancelling each other out. With an hour on the clock things changed though as Royston gave away cheap possession and Anthony Wright was played through on goal. No second invitation was required and he rounded Josh Tibbets in the home goal and despatched the ball into the empty net to score what ended up being Banbury’s only meaningful chance.
Steve Castle used his substitutes to try and inject an immediate response and Bridges nearly provided this, as he saw his shot well saved from a free kick routine. Royston continued to have the lion’s share of possession and dominated territory, as Banbury looked to hold on for a point. To their credit they did this with some degree of comfort and showed admirable levels of commitment as they repelled all that the home side threw at them, giving them very few sighters of their goal. Indeed the only noteworthy attempt saw Royston hit the woodwork for the third time, as Powell saw his 20 yard shot rebound off of the bar, after good interplay with Asafu-Adjaye had opened up the Puritans defensive lines.
A draw was probably harsh on Royston given that they were the team looking to win the game, but Banbury, having taken their solitary chance, proved to be a well drilled, disciplined opponent and took a hard earned point back to Oxfordshire.
Team: 1-Tibbets, 2-Asafu-Adjaye, 3-Chappell, 4-Bridges (c), 5-Murray, 6-Gaughran, 7-Castiglione (12-Nzuruba 60), 8-Powell, 9-Frendo (16-Brathwaite 79), 10-Thomas (15-Corcoran 60), 11-Alomenu
Unused subs – 15-Baulk, GK-Tewkesbury
|ROYSTON TOWN||BANBURY UNITED|
|3||EFFORTS ON TARGET||2|
|6||EFFORTS OFF TARGET||1|
|4||FREE KICKS AWARDED||15|