ROYSTON TOWN FC v WEALDSTONE FC
Saturday 21st November 2019
Royston recorded arguably the best result in the club’s long history as they deservedly defeated National South table-toppers Wealdstone, to move into the first-round proper of the FA Trophy.
The first half was, in terms of possession fairly even, but it was Royston who carried a far greater attacking threat, repeatedly stretching the Stones backline and creating the better chances.
Indeed, Wealdstone’s only real clear opening of the half arrived in the 5th minute, as a slip in the Crows defence enabled Dennon Lewis an early sight of goal, fortunately for the Crows, his shot rebounded off the post and away to safety.
It was, however, the Crows that struck first. Adam Watkins picked up a loose ball in midfield and played the ball to Luke Warner-Eley who strode forward and delivered a pinpoint cross onto the head of Brandon Adams. Having ghosted in between defenders Adams steered a header into the corner of the net, giving Jonathan North no chance in the home goal.
Buoyed by the early opening goal the Crows continued to press forward and had chances to extend their lead, as Josh Castiglione failed to get any sort of clean connection from a Scott Bridges cross and Adams raced onto a Matt Bateman flick, rounded the keeper, but was foiled by an excellent last-ditch tackle.
The second goal the away team deserved arrived just before the half-hour mark, as Bateman won yet another aerial duel. This time Castiglione raced onto the flick and drove the ball into the roof of the net to double the Crows advantage, a lead they comfortably maintained into the half-time interval.
A half-time double substitution for Wealdstone didn’t have an immediate effect, as Royston pressed the Stones back and the game should have been all over in the 46th minute as Bridges fired a close-range left-foot shot wide of the post with the goal gaping.
Inevitably Wealdstone improved and began to take the game to Royston. Substitute Jacob Mendy flashed a dangerous cross-shot across the face of goal before Joe Welch had his first meaningful save to make, as he did well to turn a ricochet off his own defender, Ed Asafu-Adjaye, around his post.
The vocal home crowd didn’t have much longer to wait to celebrate, as just after the hour mark a deflected cross deceived the Royston defence and Ross Lafayette timed his run to perfection and finished well.
Wealdstone were now in the ascendency, with the majority of the alleged 396 crowd howling for every decision. However, Royston remained a threat going forward and had another great opportunity to seal the victory, as Castiglione raced around North and pulled the ball back for Bateman, who under great pressure, could only turn his shot agonisingly wide of the post.
It looked like the Crows were going to rue the missed chances, as with 11 minutes to go a Wealdstone corner was not dealt with and the ball dropped to home skipper Jerome Okimo who turned in the equaliser.
The home side now sensed victory, but it was Royston who found the decisive 5th goal in the 84th minute, as the jet-heeled Claudio Ofosu raced away from the home defence, before crossing for Adams to expertly despatch into the corner of the net.
This goal seemed to take the wind out of the home team and despite 6 minutes of injury time, they were unable to find a way through the Crows defence, with the only real scare snuffed out by 2 great blocks from Asafu-Adjaye.
The final whistle was soon to follow, with the Crows players and staff able to celebrate a well-earned famous victory and a place in Monday’s draw for the First Round Proper.
Royston: 1-Welch, 2-Scott-Morriss, 3-Warner-Eley, 4-Bridges (16-Ofosu 70), 5-Watkins, 6-Asafu-Adjaye, 7-Castiglione, 8-Green (17-Mentis 58), 9-Adams, 10-Murray© (15-Brathwaite 85), 11-Bateman
Unused: 12-Taylor, 13-Smart (GK), 14-Brighton, 18-Crowther
MOM: The whole squad!
|5||EFFORTS ON TARGET||4|
|5||EFFORTS OFF TARGET||9|
|7||FREE KICKS AWARDED||11|