Match Report, Stats & photos Royston Town 2v2 Stratford Town
By Andy Chilton
A determined & compact Tangerine Town share the spoils with the Crows in hearty encounter in Herts
Match Report by Kevin Hand, Match stas by Rod "Statto" Abrahams, Photos by Granty
Royston Town v Stratford Town,
Saturday 18 August, 2018 3.00pm
Evo-Stik Premier Division Central League at the Garden Walk.
Royston 2 Stratford 2 (0-1) HT
* To the business that we love we rise betime……
This was an entertaining game in which the Town boys showed distinct improvement and promise for the future. After the game manager, Darren Byfield, was clearly encouraged by the performance.
There were a number of changes in the Town line up with Nathan Vaughan returning in goal and Claudio Dias replacing Callum Powell. Jordan Williams came into the back 4 with Maslen-Jones moving into midfield. In turn Wilson Carvalho moved out onto the left. Nabil Shariff returned at the expense of Edwin Ahenkorah. These changes saw Stratford deliver a much more fluent first half performance.
Playing down a slight slope in the orange away strip Stratford had the better of the early exchanges. Fry, Grocott and Carvalho combined nicely while Maslen-Jones was dominant behind them. Jordan Williams was equally impressive in handling the lively Royston attack.
On 15 minutes Nabil Shariff broke on the right and fired just wide. Two minutes later and Dias danced into the area and there were strong claims for a penalty as he seemed to be tripped. Later The Crows themselves also had a strong appeal for a penalty following a ‘handball’ incident. As Town continued to press a Grocott corner on 20 minutes was headed goal wards by Williams only for Royston keeper, Appleyard, to make a smart save low to his left.
The deadlock was broken on 39 minutes when Maslen-Jones picked up a loose ball in midfield. He strode forward and lashed home a ‘thunderbolt’ from 25 yards. This crowned an impressive first half performance.
The second half saw both teams make an immediate substitution. Debutant Albi Skendi replaced the injured Chris Cox while Gus Scott-Morris replaced Callum Ellesley. These changes were to have a significant influence on the outcome of the game. Carvalho had tormented Ellesley in the first half but was well –marshalled by Scott-Morris in the second. While for Stratford the change of personnel unsettled the defence.
On 50 minutes The Crows drew level and six minutes later and they were ahead. First, Westwood was robbed on the left and Vance Bola’s cross found Potton who fired home from close range with just a hint of a deflection. Then Martel Powell threaded a ball through to Chris Assombalonga who outpaced the Town defence and fired under Vaughan’s despairing dive. In between Shariff out paced the Royston defence and slipped the ball past the keeper only to see it cleared off the line. Grocott, following up, fired wildly over the bar.
Both Teams used their full allocation of substitutes well before the 90 minutes was up. Michael Taylor and Edwin Ahenkorah came on for Stratford as Byfield’ s
Boys pressed for an equalizer. It was no surprise when on 82 minutes a Grocott cross found the razor-sharp Taylor who headed home from 12 yards for a deserved equalizer. In this period of transition Skendi moved to mid-field and immediately impressed.
For Royston Adam Murray was outstanding at the back while there were a number of stand-out performances for Town with Carvalho, Maslen-Jones and Grocott vying for Man of the Match. The game was well managed by the Officials throughout. There was a small but appreciative crowd at the Garden Walk with a ‘friendly family vibe’ at this well-run club. Some grounds you’re happy to return to – this is one of them!
• To the business that we love we rise betime, And go to’t with delight.
Antony and Cleopatra Act 4 Scene 4
|Match Stats by Rod Abrahams|
|7||Crosses into Box||5|
|Stratford Yellow Cards – Maslen-Jones|
|Royston Yellow Cards – None|
|Stratford Red Cards – None|
|Royston Red Cards – None|
Saturday 25 August Lowestoft (H) 3.00pm
Monday 27 August Banbury (A) 3.00pm