ROYSTON TOWN FC v BOREHAM WOOD FC
Saturday 14th December 2019
Royston completed a cup double over National League Boreham Wood, as they followed up their midweek victory in the Herts Senior Cup with success in the first round proper of the FA Trophy.
The Crows more than matched their higher-level opponents and deservedly took their place in the draw for the next round as 2 Adam Murray headers proved to be the difference.
The sticky surface at Garden Walk made free-flowing football difficult and this suited the hard-working home side, as they adapted to the conditions better.
The first chance fell to the Crows in the 6th minute as Murray headed over Luke Warner-Eley’s cross. Boreham Wood immediately responded and Joe Welch in the home goal had to be at his best, as a fine double save thwarted Tyrone Marsh from close range. Marsh then saw his third attempt find the net, but the referee had already blown for a handball.
On 16 minutes the Murray, Eley-Warner combination saw another header just clear the bar but the home crowd didn’t have to wait much longer for the opening goal, as at the third time of asking Murray sent a thumping header into the net from Eley-Warner’s near-post corner.
With conditions proving tricky for both sides, the game became scrappy with the ball spending a lot of time in the air and both teams struggling to find any real quality. Boreham Wood gradually began to assert themselves, with Kane Smith looking the most likely to create something, but a resolute home defence meant few sights of goal were offered. Indeed, it was Royston who nearly added a second as Murray flicked on a Scott Bridges free-kick to Matt Bateman, whose turn and shot went narrowly wide of the post.
With the half time whistle approaching The Woods fashioned another chance as Smith’s cross was met by Marsh who wastefully shot over.
The second half continued in the same vein as the midfield trio of Spyros Mentis, Adam Watkins and Bridges continued to work tirelessly to deny the away team any space and thus any clear chances to get back into the game. Indeed it was Royston who looked the more dangerous, as Bridges saw his free-kick blocked by the wall, with the resulting corner being cleared from underneath his own bar by Wood skipper Mark Ricketts.
With 56 minutes on the clock, the Crows thought they had scored the decisive second goal as a Josh Castiglione run and cross arrived at the feet of Bateman 8 yards out. Bateman made good contact with the ball, but a fine point-blank save from away stopper Nathan Ashmore kept the deficit at just one.
The away side continued to struggle to create any opportunities and despite winning a succession of free-kicks in the Royston half, a real lack of quality in the delivery meant the home side remained largely untroubled. With frustrations starting to surface, the away teams cause was not helped by a needless sending off in the 81st minute, as an off the ball incident saw Sorba Thomas deservedly dismissed.
Royston soon made the extra man advantage tell and in doing so put the game to bed, as with 2 minutes left another thumping Murray header, this time from Bridges pinpoint cross, made the game safe and sent the Crows into the second round proper for the first time in their long history.
Royston: 1-Welch, 2-Asafu-Adjaye, 3-Warner-Eley (15-Brighton 59), 4-Bridges (14-Scott-Morriss 94), 5-Martin, 6-Brathwaite ©, 7-Mentis, 8-Watkins, 9-Murray, 10-Bateman, 11-Castiglione (12-Ofosu 59)
Unused: 16-Green, 17-Crowther, 18-Adams, GK-Smart
MOM: Adam Murray
|ROYSTON TOWN||BOREHAM WOOD|
|3||EFFORTS ON TARGET||4|
|5||EFFORTS OFF TARGET||5|
|10||FREE KICKS AWARDED||19|