ROYSTON TOWN FC v HITCHIN TOWN FC
Monday 27th December 2021
Royston’s inconsistent league form continued on Monday as Hitchin deservedly left Garden Walk with all 3 points.
The game was fairly typical of recent matches, with the Crows having more than their fair share of possession, whilst struggling to create any clear-cut chances. Hitchin for their part looked far more incisive going forward, creating better chances and although they were only able to convert one, this proved to be decisive.
Royston’s chief tormentor was Callum Stead who scored the only goal, but on another day could easily have had a hat-trick, but was denied by a combination of good goalkeeping and wayward finishing. His first chance came in the 20th minute, but from a tight angle, Dimi Kyriatzis foiled him low down. The home side, having been unable to clear the ball, were grateful to see Lewis Barker’s effort go just wide of the post.
Royston’s only real chance of the half fell to Matt Bateman, whose diving header at the far post, from a well flighted James Brighton cross, went narrowly wide.
The decisive moment in the match arrived right on the halftime whistle. A curling free-kick into the Crows box from Josh Coldicott-Stevens was headed in by Stead giving Kyriatzis no chance.
Royston thought they had got themselves back into the match in the 50th minute as Charlie Horlock in the away goal spilt a Matt Bateman shot that Brandon Adams turned in from close range. The celebrations were immediately cut short by the linesman’s flag. Shortly afterwards Stead should have put the game beyond doubt as he skillfully jinked his way through the defence, leaving himself through on goal, but an excellent save from Kyriatzis with an outstretched leg denied him, although he really should have done better.
Royston continued to enjoy plenty of possession but didn’t look likely to break down a dogged Hitchin defence. Dan Newton headed wide from a corner, sub Tom Newman had a shot easily saved and a goalmouth scramble from a well-delivered corner were the only real sights of goal. A potential lifeline was offered to the home side in the 95th minute as a free kick on the edge of the box was won, however, Adams low effort was easily gathered by Horlock. The final whistle went with the large away contingent, forming part of the bumper bank holiday crowd of 729, in good voice celebrating an important derby win.
Royston: 1-Kyriatzis, 7-Titchmarsh (12-Newman 70), 3-Mensah, 6, Henry, 14-Brighton (16-Gouldbourne 70), 20-Newton, 2-Asafu-Adjaye, 11-Galliford, 10-Bateman, 9-Adams, 5-Murray ©
Unused: GK-Welch, 16-Tigwell, 17-Garrett-Douglas
MOM – Dimi Kyriatzis
|ROYSTON TOWN||HITCHIN TOWN|
|3||EFFORTS ON TARGET||5|
|18||FREE KICKS AWARDED||12|