Juwon Akintunde’s second goal in as many games as an impact sub lifts away day blues at Grange Park for the Crows as he seals first away win for Royston in the 236 days since Boxing Day 2022
Royston Town built on Tuesday night’s impressive home performance and first point of the season at Grange Park against Long Eaton where The Crows capped a dominant display to earn all three points with a 1-3 win over the league’s slow starters.
Influential Adam Murray returned to the starting line up for the first time this season after a three game suspension, despite carrying an injury, and was named as The Crows fourth captain in as many games.
His presence in the heart of defence was calming and assured and helped to galvanise the back line that had shipped eight goals in the opening three games. The defence included the already promising young talent in the form of goalkeeper Louie Chadwick, full back Greg Sandiford, centre half Ange Djadja — not to forget the added experience of Ronnie Henry — and the balance of youth and experience is gelling well on this evidence in terms of resiliance.
Since beating St. Ives Town over the Christmas period, last year, The Crows have picked up only one draw in the previous seven away games —or in other words one solitary point from a possible 21 before yesterday’s victory.
The Crows took an early lead in the sixth minute through Florian Tsaguim after a short pass from midfield to The Blues keeper, who kicked the ball against the onrushing Royston forward and the ball broke to Florian gifting him the opportunity to calmly tap the ball into the empty net.
Long Eaton had claims for a penalty dismissed in the 17th minute after a Cieron Keane’s free kick found Ed Cook but the centre-half’s header was blocked and cleared by Royston.
The Crows doubled their lead in the 31st minute thanks to the returning Adam Murray who rose highest and longest to head a towering and accurate header that looped beyond The Blues keeper Ross Durrant to make it 0-2.
Royston could have extended their advantage in 40th minute as Josh Coldicott-Stevens chested down a lobbed pass from Florian but the Royston forward saw this effort sail over the crossbar.
The visitors went in at the break two goals to the good.
After the interval, Long Eaton pulled a goal back for The Blues in 47th minute courtesy of a well worked corner kick routine which saw Edward Cook meet an inviting cross with his head to thump the ball passed Louie Chadwick at the back post.
This gave the home team a lift who, after two successive promotions are still trying to find the performance levels they are going to need to compete at this level.
The Blues, who’ve seen a lot of changes in management and personnel in recent times looked second best on the day and will need to find a solution soon.
Royston sealed the three points in the 66th minute, when second half substitute Oluwajuwon Akintunde added to his goalscoring account this season with his second in as many games off the bench to make it three for the visitors.
Chances were few and far between for the rest of the second half as Royston ran out comfortable winners.
1 Ross Durrant (c); 2 Callum Cocks; 3 Sam Parker; 4 Marley Fearon; 5 Riece Bertram; 6 Ed Cook; 7 Micah Jebbison; 8 Cieron Keane; 9 Zayn Hakeem; 10 Kameron Campbell; 11 Curtis Davies; 12 Alex Hardwick; 17 Keiran Walker; 14 Cam Philip; 15 Adam Clark; 16 Riley Phillips.
1 Chadwick; 2 Sandiford; 3 Djadja; 4 Coldicott-Stevens; 5 Murray (c); 6 Henry; 7 Keller; 8 A Williams; 9 Tsaguim; 10 Esan; 11 Newman; 12 L Williams; 17 Akintunde; 14 Virgilio; 15 Wilson-Braithwaite; 16 Bateman.