ROYSTON TOWN FC v BANBURY UNITED FC
Saturday 27th November 2021
What was always going to be a difficult assignment at Banbury, was made pretty much impossible within the first 15 minutes, as two questionable referring decisions left the Crows up a certain creak without a paddle in sight.
The first eyebrow raiser came in the 10th minute, as full back Sam Brown drove into the box. With Dan Newton coming across to cover, the referee deemed a foul had taken place, the look of absolute surprise on the Crow’s defenders face said everything, as Mr Cooke pointed to the spot. Morgan Roberts took no pity on the away side, sending Joe Welch the wrong way, to give the Puritans an early lead.
4 minutes later Cooke was again the centre of controversy as Dan Brathwaite’s strong ball-winning challenge on Roberts was deemed worthy of a red card. Was it over the top? Out of control? Using excessive force? The general consensus around the ground seemed to be it was reckless at worst, but referee Cooke had no hesitation in reaching for his back pocket, when a period of consideration may have been the better option.
Despite these setbacks, and also having the handicap of playing into the strong wind, the Crows acquitted themselves well, defending deep and denying the home side any space to create, the downside was that Adam Murray was left isolated up front. Welch was called into action a couple of times for fairly routine saves, and indeed it was the away side who fashioned the best chance just before half time, as after a good move, Brandon Adams turned his marker inside the box only too be denied by the legs of Ben Taylor in the home goal. Banbury responded immediately, with Welch saving well from Acquaye, before Rahmar Garrett-Douglas cleared the follow up effort off the line, to leave the hosts with just a one goal advantage at the break.
Banbury started the second half forcefully, trying to get the game clinching second goal. Ronnie Henry nearly assisted them with this, leaving a back pass short of Welch, who was alert to charge from his line and smother Chris Wreh’s effort. Welch then turned aside an excellent curling Wreh effort, but the decisive goal arrived in the 56th minute. Impressive home skipper Giorgio Rosulo found himself in space on the edge of the box and his well-placed low shot brushed the fingertips of Welch, who could not prevent the ball from going in off the post.
The Crows did not give up hope and gave as good as they got throughout the half but struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities. Banbury where now happy to sit a bit deeper, inviting Royston forward, whilst looking particularly dangerous on the counterattack as the Crows pushed players forward. A combination of excellent goalkeeping from Welch, impressive last ditch defending and wastefulness from the home side meant the score remained the same, anymore would have been harsh on the away side, who despite the early setbacks fought to the end, but ultimately left The Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium with nothing to show for their efforts.
Royston: 1-Welch, 17-Garrett-Douglas, 3-Brathwaite (sent off 14), 6-Henry, 20-Newton, 11-Galliford (15-Brown 76), 2-Asafu-Adjaye, 16-Rotimi (4-Bridges 61), 14-Gouldbourne (12-Newman 70), 9-Adams, 5-Murray ©
Unused: 8-Murray, 7-Titchmarsh
MOM – Joe Welch
|ROYSTON TOWN||BANBURY UNITED|
|1||EFFORTS ON TARGET||11|
|5||EFFORTS OFF TARGET||3|
|15||FREE KICKS AWARDED||10|