ROYSTON TOWN FC v AFC RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS FC
Saturday 15th April 2023
The Crows arrested a run of 4 straight league defeats as an injury-time equaliser gave them a deserved draw against a rejuvenated AFC Rushden & Diamonds side.
Royston started the game brightly and should have taken the lead in the 9th minute as Ronnie Henry rose to meet a James Brighton corner, but headed over. Brighton and Matt Bateman saw shots saved by Dean Snedker, fresh from being awarded the Diamonds supporter’s player of the season.
Royston dominated the opening 20 minutes but found themselves a goal behind as poor defending allowed Andy Mandjoba the chance to gain possession and tee up Mitchell White for a precise finish past Dimi Kyriatzis.
This setback didn’t affect the away side who continued to push forward, Henry did better with another header from a corner, this time hitting the target, but Sendker did well to tip over. Another good chance quickly followed as Bateman helped a ball into the box but Charlie Castle saw his volley flash the wrong side of the post.
The second half started similarly, with Matt Bateman seeing a 46th-minute header chalked off for offside before Adam Murray headed over from a Cole Dasilva free kick. The home side where more in the game however and should have doubled their lead in the 61st minute as more good work from Mandjoba presented Janson Cooper with a glorious opportunity, but Ronnie Henry was the man in the right place at the right time as he managed to clear the ball off the line. With the game becoming more stretched AFC had a chance to wrap the points up in the 90th minute as Cooper held off Brighton, but substitute Fraser Corden poked his effort wide of the goal.
This proved a costly miss as 3 minutes into stoppage time it was 2 Crows substitutes who combined to salvage the deserved point. Tom Newman clipped a cross into the heart of the penalty area and it was Ky Marsh-Brown who was perfectly placed to steer a header past Snedker and see the Crows get some sort of reward that their efforts warranted.
Royston: 13-Kyriatzis, 2-Da Silva, 3-Brighton, 4-Bell-Toxtle, 5-Murray ©, 6-Henry, 7-Castle (14-Newman 63), 8-Rotimi (12-Marsh Brown 57), 9-Bateman (20-Forde 79), 10-Williams, 11-Harness
Unused – 15-Mentis, 17-Barnwell
MOM – Ronnie Henry
|AFC RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS
|EFFORTS ON TARGET
|EFFORTS OFF TARGET
|FREE KICKS AWARDED