Match Report: Royston Town v Potters Bar Town

Date Tuesday 16 August 2016
Match Royston Town v Potters Bar Town
Competition Evostik League Southern: Division One Central
Result Drew 0-0
Royston Scorers
Crows MoM
Scott Bridges

The positives for Royston from Tuesday evening’s game between two of the league’s unbeaten teams were a clean sheet and the continuance of the undefeated record. The negatives were failure to gain maximum points in front of the home faithful and a red card for skipper Scott Bridges with 15 minutes to go, that he could have few complaints about and reflected the increasing frustration evident from the home side.

The game followed the pattern of the three previous league outings this term in that Royston had the lion’s share of possession but lacked the incisiveness to create many clear cut opportunities. Potters Bar started the game with intent quickly having two shots within the first minute of play and followed this up with an effort that just cleared the bar from Bennet, after a good run and pass from Nathaniel-George found him in space in the area, which should really have resulted in a strike on target.

Having negotiated the opening ten minutes, Royston began to impose themselves on the game, with the Potters Bar midfield dropping deeper and deeper and thus giving the Royston midfield of Mentis, Bradshaw and Bridges plenty of time on the ball and space to manoeuvre in. At this point Bridges was having the most influence on the game, but for all their pressure no real chances were created. After a couple of headers had drifted wide following crosses into the box, Potters Bar’s goalkeeper was not called into action until the 25th minute when, after coming on as a substitute for Stuart Bridges just 2 minutes earlier, De La Salle rifled in a fierce right footed shot that Goode did well to get down low to his right and turn around his post for a corner.

Despite all their possession Royston struggled to create any clear cut chances, with the only other moment of real note coming when Cohen held the ball up well, before laying it off for Scott-Morriss to whip in a cross that Watters met firmly with a header that didn’t unduly worry Goode as he plucked it out of the air. In response Potters Bar frequently wasted what possession they did have, playing long balls down the middle of the pitch that were easily gobbled up by the returning Ryan Frater, who was dominant in the air throughout the game. Indeed, following their bright start Potters Bars only other chance of the half fell to Nathaniel-George on the half hour mark when a clever flick saw him through on goal, but Paine in the Royston goal was quickly off his line and made a good save with his legs.

Half time saw Potters Bar make what was presumed an enforced substitution as Wambeek replaced Sullivan and Royston’s full backs swap sides, which, despite the change of flank, didn’t make it any more or less of an attacking threat, as both Scott-Morriss and May displayed greater relish for the chance to patrol their favoured side.

The second half was altogether a more even affair with the Potters Bar midfielders engaging their Royston counterparts higher up the field. Royston again failed to create any clear cut chances, with the exception of a good probing cross from May that found Ingrey in enough space that should have seen the substitute’s resulting header work the visiting goalkeeper at the very least and then a fine 25 yard strike from Bridges that Goode saved well.

For Potters Bar a cross from Bennet that turned into a shot was well tipped over by the alert Paine, a quick free kick from Forde that found Simpson in space behind May caused Paine to have to save well with his legs again and a shot from Simpson that May had to clear off his line after Royston had momentarily switched off as Potters Bar took a quick corner. All this meant that the Royston back five were never allowed to rest on their laurels.

The sending off with 15 minutes to go actually seemed to give Royston more impetus as they exerted more pressure and Potters Bar seemed content to see out the draw to maintain their unbeaten record. Indeed Royston had two good chances to claim the 3 points as first De La Salle in the 89th minute and then Ingrey in the 93rd minute both planted headers wide of the target when well found from accurate crosses by Watters and May.

In summary Royston once again defended solidly, which has been a recurring theme so far this season, despite different personnel having played. The challenge is further forward where the search continues to find the right combination to create and finish goal scoring opportunities.

Team: 1-Paine, 2-May, 3-Watters, 4- Bridges (Scott), 5-Frater, 6-Bridges (Stuart), 7- Mentis, 8-Bradshaw, 9-Cohen, 10-Towner, 11-Scott-Morriss

Subs: 12-Ingrey (for Cohen 53), 14-Linsell (for Scott-Morriss 64), 16-De La Salle (for Bridges, Stu 23)

Unused – 15-Powell, 17-Brathwaite