ROYSTON TOWN FC v HEDNESFORD TOWN FC
Saturday 4th March 2023
Two goals in 4 second-half minutes from Matt Bateman saw Royston cruise to victory against Hednesford.
The turning point of the game came in the 57th minute as away goalkeeper Luke Jackson was sent off for bringing down home skipper Adam Murray, who had capitalised on Jackson’s hesitation to nick the ball past him. The Pitmen’s agony was doubled as the referee pointed to the spot, although the actual contact looked to have happened outside the area. Bateman took no mercy, crisply despatching the penalty kick into the bottom corner, giving substitute goalkeeper Rhys Williams no chance.
The second goal arrived 3 minutes later and was a well-worked team affair. Nathan Tshikuna started the move picking out a through ball to Kian Harness, Harness held the ball up before rolling the ball back to Tshikuna, whose inch-perfect cross left Bateman an easy close-range header.
Up until this point the Crows had dominated the game with Hednesford struggling to make any impression. Jackson had made an outstanding save to deny a Tshikuna thunderbolt which looked destined for the net until his fingertips deflected the ball onto the bar.
Royston again hit the woodwork in the 56th minute as Bateman latched onto a Murray flick as his lobbed effort rebounded off the post. But he wasn’t to be denied too much longer as his quick-fire double deservedly gave the 3 points to the Crows.
Royston: 1-Kyriatzis, 2-Da Silva, 3-Brighton (14-Harness 62), 4-Townsend-West, 5-Murray ©, 6-Henry, 7-Tshikuna (15-Bell-Toxtle 78), 8-Hoddle, 9-Bateman, 10-Williams, 11-Marsh-Brown (16-Castle 68)
Unused – 12-Forde, 19-Turner
MOM – James Brighton
|ROYSTON TOWN||HEDNESFORD TOWN|
|8||EFFORTS ON TARGET||1|
|2||EFFORTS OFF TARGET||3|
|5||FREE KICKS AWARDED||14|