CROWS BRING PICS WINNING STREAK TO AN END
ROYSTON TOWN FC v RUSHALL OLYMPIC FC
Saturday 31st August 2019
A Matt Bateman goal right at the start of the second half settled this keenly contested affair, as Royston brought Rushall Olympic’s four-game winning streak to an end.
The game was a close contest throughout, between two evenly matched teams. It was, however, the visitors who started the brighter, looking to get the ball down and stretch the play and this paid early dividends as they took the lead in the 8th minute. The move started with Chekaine Steele who moved the ball onto Levi Rowley who in turn played in Jonathan Letford. Letford shot early, with the ball seeming to take a slight deflection to wrong-foot Harry Smart in the Crows goal and roll into the corner of the net.
The lead was nearly doubled straight away, as Lee Smith flashed a shot just wide, as the Pics looked to capitalise fully on their lively start. Indeed it was somewhat against the run of play that Royston got themselves back in the game, with a rare strike from wing back Gus Scott-Morriss. A searching cross-field ball from Dan Green was well brought down by Scott-Morriss who drove at full-back Reece Mitchell. Having ridden the challenge well, Scott-Morriss fired an angled shot into the corner beyond the dive of Jonathan Flatt in the away goal.
The game really livened up from this point with Rushall conceding a number of free-kicks as Royston started to put the away side under pressure. In the 26th minute, Scott-Morriss saw his effort well smothered by Flatt after the keeper had only palmed away a Scott Bridges free-kick. From the resulting Scott-Morris corner, the home side were dismayed to see their penalty appeals waved away, as an Adam Murray header clearly struck Orrin Pendley’s raised arm, with the referee waving away the strenuous appeals of both the players and home support.
Royston continued in the ascendancy, with Scott-Morriss failing to convert an excellent Joe Newton cross and on the stroke of half time, Scott Bridges saw his effort deflected just wide of the post.
The start of the second half saw Royston continue to press forward and they were immediately rewarded with what turned out to be the winner, as Bateman scored with a low left-foot shot, having been set up by Claudio Ofosu, after his strong run through the middle.
The game retained its competitive edge but both defences were now getting on top and clear chances were hard to create. The Pics managed to create an opening in the 63rd minute as Harry Smart topped over a fierce Steele drive destined for the top corner.
With Royston playing too many long straight balls it was Rushall who looked the more likely to score, but with Adam Murray superbly marshalling the Crows defence opportunities remained limited. With time ticking away, Smart was again called upon, as he clawed away a header from a well-delivered free-kick. With 90 minutes on the clock, the away side were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box but the wall stood firm to repel both the initial effort and the follow-up shot. Shortly after, the referee blew for full time and it was Royston who claimed the three points to move level with Rushall, AFC Rushden and Stourbridge at the top of a tightly congested league table.
Royston: 1-Smart, 2-Scott-Morriss, 3-Newton, 4-Bridges, 5-Murray, 6-Brathwaite © (14-Martin 76), 7-Crowther, 8-Green (12-Mentis 655), 9-Adams (16-Rotimi 70), 10-Bateman, 11-Ofosu
Unused: 14-Ingrey, 17-Castiglione
MOM: Adam Crowther
|ROYSTON TOWN||RUSHALL OLYMPIC|
|7||EFFORTS ON TARGET||5|
|3||EFFORTS OFF TARGET||5|
|19||FREE KICKS AWARDED||14|
This match report is kindly sponsored by Lounge India.
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