Match Report: Royston Town v Potters Bar Town

Date Tuesday 12 April 2016
Match Royston Town v Potters Bar Town
Competition Evostik League Southern: Division One Central
Result Won 4-1
Royston Scorers Scott Bridges, Hoenes(2), Ingrey
Crows MoM
Scott Bridges

It was certainly needed and it was a much improved performance and result for Royston Town tonight, winning with a certain style, against Potters Bar Town, showing good collective character and better in front of goal quality to record a convincing 4-1 score-line.

Steve Castle and Chris Watters rang the changes throughout the squad looking for a response and got the result these changes were looking for. Stuart Bridges made his first start for the Crows for many months following surgery and we welcome last year’s player of the season back. Erkan Okay slotted in to start in midfield and Rob Mason was preferred to Simon Thomas to start at centre forward. Jack Bradshaw and Reece Dobson missed out on a squad place.

It was clear the dictate was to get the ball down and play from the start and this style was certainly evident as the Crows got to terms with the pitch conditions and adjusted accordingly as final ball was sometimes given away. It took until the 23rd minute for any real threat on the Scholars’ goal but this came through another Rhys Hoenes won penalty and in the absence of Bradshaw, Scott Bridges stepped up and powered home the spot kick. 1-0.

This much more positive mode of play was being encouraged more calmly by Castle from the side-lines and it was reaping rewards. Ryan Ingrey was working hard across the front line and Hoenes was certainly looking much more like the threat we know he can be. On 33 minutes a high pace cut in and well placed diagonal shot saw Hoenes score his first goal of 2016 and he celebrated with relish. 2-0.

A period of stop-start play, punctuated with what looked to be a concussive knock to a Scholars player, was enough to just throw the Crows out of controlling rhythm and Potters Bar got a goal back in first half stoppage time with a lung bursting full length of pitch run by Luke Warner-Eley being finished off with confidence. 2-1.

The Crows were out early for the second half looking keen to get back to it and get the job done. However, it was the Scholars who exerted early second half pressure winning a series of corners that the back four and Ron Yates worked hard to keep out.

Ryan Frater, suffering from a shoulder problem, was replaced by the recently little used Liam McDevitt on 55 minutes and the on pitch volume increased immediately. Hoenes got a card for simulation despite going down for what looked to be more of a foul than the first half penalty that was awarded and referee Daniel Hanna went absent from the game for a period, making the wrong call when centrally through on goal Hoenes was blatantly “clothes-lined” by Scholars’ Keeper, Ben Goode, just outside the box and although clearly last man was only punished with a yellow card – poor from the official.

A second substitution on 63 minutes from Castle saw Mason replaced by Thomas, with the former suffering from a tight hamstring.

A moment of madness from Potter Bar defender Will Wambeek on 66 minutes, shoving Scott Bridges dangerously into the perimeter fencing, earned himself an unnecessary red card and basically put pay to any chance his team had of getting back in this game.

Ryan Ingrey scored a great game deciding goal on 73 minutes, picking up the ball centrally, dipping a shoulder and unleashing a superbly struck left foot shot past the stranded Goode. 3-1

The renewed and effervescent Hoenes killed off the game on 77 minutes following some first class in box ball retention and hold up play by skipper Scott Bridges, looking for the perfect opening for Hoenes to run onto the pass, take two fast steps and curl a good shot into the far corner. 4-1.

Stuart Bridges left the pitch after a decent comeback work out and was replaced by Martel Powell on 78 minutes.

The impressive Erkan Okay had a half chance to score on 83 minutes when set up by the solid Danny May and his clever side-footed low effort was well saved by the left diving Goode.

There was no further scoring, despite continued home team dominance and good match control management, and the game finished with a convincing 4-1 win for the much improved Crows.

Team:  Yates, May, Scott-Morriss, Frater (McDevitt), Brathwaite, Bridges Scott, Bridges Stuart (Powell), Okay, Ingrey, Mason (Thomas), Hoenes.

Subs not used – Hull, Towner.