|Date||Tuesday 24th April 2018|
|Match||Royston Town v Slough Town|
|Competition||Evostik League Southern: Premier Division|
With just one place separating the sides in the table prior to kick off, a close encounter was anticipated, as Slough looked to claim a home tie in the play-offs, whilst Royston were looking to cement a top 6 finish.
In the end the game was over as a contest within 20 minutes, as Slough raced into a 3 goal lead that they never looked like relinquishing. As well as Slough played in the opening half, the Royston management would have been disappointed with the goals conceded, with them all resulting from poor Crows defending.
With just 3 minutes on the clock Slough took the lead, Josh Tibbetts made an excellent low save down to his left hand side, but could do nothing to stop Warren Harris steering in the rebound. A task made easier for the Slough forward by the lack of reaction from any home defenders to the initial save.
The lead was doubled in the 11th minute as again the home defence reacted too slowly to a through ball and then over committed themselves to leave Harris an easy opportunity to round Tibbetts and slot into the empty net.
The three goal blast was completed in the 20th minute as a long ball forward wasn’t dealt with by the Crows defence and the diminutive Perry Coles was able to hold off the home defence, before turning them inside out and slotting past Tibbetts.
The first half continued with Slough looking a yard quicker all around the pitch and with Royston struggling to get any foothold in the game, although Slough must take some credit for this, such was their excellence throughout the half.
The second half was a different story though, with skipper Scott Bridges restored to his more accustomed midfield roll, the home side started to match Slough both in terms of speed and physicality. Despite this increased competitiveness it was Slough who should have extended their lead as James Dobson volleyed a deep Matt Lench cross the wrong side of the post.
Just before the hour mark Steve Castle made a double substitution which lead to Royston’s best passage of pay, looking for the goal that would give them a chance to mount a comeback. A goalmouth scramble in the 61st minute nearly gave them this chance, as Adam Marriott saw his goal-bound shot blocked and was unable to get to the rebound as two Crows players tried to apply a finishing touch. Straight away an awkward high ball was played into the box, Rebels keeper Jack Turner was unable to punch clear effectively but Rhodell Gorden was only able to skew his effort wide.
Despite now matching the visitors and with it now been an even, competitive affair, Royston were unable to create any real chances. The only other real opening arriving in the 80th minute, as good interplay between Marriott and Josh Castiglione released the winger into the area. Showing excellent footwork Castiglione was only thwarted by a fine last ditch tackle.
It was however Slough who had the final word as Dobson pounced on the ball on the edge of the area. His driven shot looked to be covered by Tibbetts but an unfortunate deflection off substitute Sam Gaughran, saw the ball end up in the back of the net, to see Slough inflict the heaviest home defeat of the season on the Crows.
With one league game to play, the quest for 6th place is still in the Crows hands, as on the final day they travel to the same Slough side, still looking to ensure home play-off advantage, with Royston after instant revenge, to try and round off an excellent first season at this level on a high.
1-Tibbetts, 2-Dawson (14-Gaughran 59), 3-Chappell, 4-Bridges (c), 5-Murray, 6-Brathwaite, 7-Gordon (17-Taylor 79), 8-Powell (15-Corcoran 59), 9-Marriott, 10-Thomas, 11-Castiglione
Unused subs – 12-Baulk, 16-Alomenu
|ROYSTON TOWN||SLOUGH TOWN|
|0||EFFORTS ON TARGET||7|
|3||EFFORTS OFF TARGET||4|
|12||FREE KICKS AWARDED||13|