Match Report: Royston Town v Uxbridge

Royston Town FC vs Uxbridge FC              8th October 2013.
Lawton, Pepper, Parr, Endacott (Spencer), De La Salle, Cambridge (c), Edwards, Ingrey (Collins), Hammond (Lockett), Mason, Bryant.
Subs not used – Binge, Robins.
Attendance – 145
Man of the Match – Joe DeLaSalle
After Saturday’s events this home league game couldn’t come soon enough for Paul Attfield and his squad to give them a chance to redeem themselves in the eyes of their supporters and just as importantly get their league campaign back underway.
With noticeably steely concentration the Royston team took the field with an undoubted air of determination to right a few wrongs.  Attfield had selected a more recognised defensive line up with Tom Pepper at right back, Taylor Parr at left back, with Lewis Endacott being asked to line up at centre back with Joe DeLaSalle and George Lawton returned in goal following his one match enforced lay off.
It was with this stoic attitude that the home side started this match – taking the action to their visitors and early on Ryan Ingrey put in a good effort that the Uxbridge keeper, Matt Elston-Bull, gathered easily. These forays brought some desperate away team defending and some play stopping fouls and Adie Cambridge sent a probing free-kick over that was punched away by Elston-Bull.
Eleven minutes in and Robbie Mason was smothered at the edge of the box giving Joe DeLaSalle a free kick in a direct position and his precision low finish to the keeper’s right put the Crows ahead for what ultimately proved to be the only goal of the game. Mitchell Bryant was looking bright and lively and his industry produced a cross that Ingrey just headed over. In the twentieth minute Ingrey was a victim of virtual assault being bundled over the hoarding with the perpetrator only seeing yellow when red was possibly more appropriate? Continued keen, purposeful and positive play brought the Royston game to the Uxbridge defenders and whilst the final ball was sometimes loose and scrappy it was the visitors who looked favourites to get their equaliser just before the break and the Royston back line were called upon to step up their concentration and efforts to ensure their sheets stayed clean.
Uxbridge re-took the pitch with their own brand of positivity and for most of the second half had Royston pinned back and forced into defending very deep, conceding too many cheap free-kicks and exposing George Lawton more than in the first period with the young stopper making some superb blocks and parries and in the 51st minute produced a good tip over from a Craig Tomkins dead ball strike. Tomkins rattled the bar from another free-kick ten minutes later after Lawton had fouled Nicke Kabamba worryingly close to being inside the box.
Up the other end Ingrey was still proving troublesome and a decent twist and shot brought a good save from Elston-Bull and then his opposite number Lawton made the save of the game, brilliantly turning away another well struck Tomkins free-kick. Carl Edwards, making a rare start this season, nearly capped an impressive match by pushing on, firstly forcing Elston-Bull into an unorthodox block and then shooting just high left from another rare second half Crows break-away. Like for like substitutions on seventy minutes just brought fresh legs with Ross Collins and Ryan Lockett coming on for Ryan Ingrey and Craig Hammond and the home side fought valiantly to protect and preserve their slender one goal lead.
Ten minutes later Lewis Endacott was forced to leave the field of play with an injury and Sam Spencer stepped in to the breach. Substitute striker Chris Drake hit the bottom of the post for Uxbridge and the Crows battled hard and continued to concede cheap and possession giving free-kicks that fortunately their hard-working visitors couldn’t quite convert and the game finished to an audible collective sigh of relief from the Garden Walk faithful for a hard fought 1-0 victory.