ROYSTON TOWN FC v COALVILLE TOWN FC
Saturday 23rd October 2021
An entertaining game at Garden Walk ultimately ended in a stalemate as both sides had to settle for a hard-earned point.
Coalville entered the game on a seven-game winning streak in the league, whilst Royston were off the back of 2 defeats. The Crows manager Steve Castle sprang the first surprise of the day, with captain Adam Murray starting upfront, as opposed to in his customary centre half role.
With Murray upfront, the home side played in a direct fashion, with Murray and fellow striker Matt Bateman certainly asserting themselves physically. Despite winning plenty of aerial duels it was the away side who were claiming the second ball and thus nullifying the threat.
The first opening of the game came in the 18th minute as Isaac Galliford stood up a cross for Ronnie Henry, whose downward header was well saved by Tomasz Bukowski in the Ravens goal. Almost immediately Coalville were on the attack with Thomas McGlinchey picking up a loose ball in midfield and driving at the Crows backline. Evading a couple of tackles the space opened up for him through the middle and he calmly finished past Joe Welch to give Coalville a 20th-minute lead.
With Luke Shaw on the Coalville left-hand side becoming an increasing influence on the game, the away side started to take control of proceedings as he fired in a dangerous low cross that evaded everyone and then saw an effort go just the wrong side of the post.
With the home side on the back foot, it took a determined piece of play from Spyros Mentis to drag them level, as his strong run ended in a through pass to Galliford, who was able to fire past Bukowski to draw Royston level.
Things got even better for the Crows right on the stroke of halftime, as Mentis’ endeavour this time released Josh Williams on the left-hand side. His speculative cross to the back post looped over the goalkeeper and fortuitously fell inside the far post to give Royston the halftime lead.
The second half saw Coalville start on the front foot and Welch had to be alert to deny Timothy Berridge. Away skipper Stephen Towers then headed wide, before the Crows responded with low shots from Galliford and Williams both going fractionally wide. The equaliser that the Ravens deserved arrived in the 66th minute as McGlinchey turned inside full-back James Brighton before rifling a low shot into the corner.
From here on in Royston were indebted to goalkeeper Welch, who produced a number of fine saves to keep the scores level. In the 74th minute, he produced a superb reflex save as Mentis nearly turned a flicked-on corner into his own net. 2 minutes later he was on hand to deny McGlinchey a hat trick as he saved a close-range effort. Then in stoppage time, he denied Berridge at his near post, before twice clawing away dangerous in-swinging corners from underneath his crossbar.
After the match, home side manager Steve Castle was full of praise for keeper Welch “Joe’s performance in the second half earned us the draw, having been on top in the first half we were unable to reach the same levels in the second period and it was thanks to Joe that we were able to earn a point”
Royston: 1-Welch, 2-Henry 76, 3-Brighton, 4-Asafu-Adjaye, 5-Murray A ©, 6-Newton, 7-Williams (17-Murray M 78), 8-Bridges, 9-Bateman (16-Draper 66), 10-Mentis, 11-Galliford
Unused: 14-Titchmarsh, 15-Keely, 18-Brown
MOM – Joe Welch
|ROYSTON TOWN||COALVILLE TOWN|
|4||EFFORTS ON TARGET||9|
|10||FREE KICKS AWARDED||16|