Having beaten higher ranked Chesham United away in the FA Cup just two days previous, Royston Town arrived at Holloways Park riding high with confidence. Many of the SYCOB faithful, prior to kick off, would have taken a point from this tricky fixture - ninety minutes later those same faithful were bemoaning two more dropped points as SYCOB failed to finish off an opposition they pretty much dominated for the second home league game in a row.
The two evenly matched teams "traded punches" in the early exchanges, each creating a handful of chances. New signing Aaron Morgan went close a couple of times whilst Anthony Thomas hit a couple of shots in anger as well. Royston also had a couple of attempts but they were easily dealt with by James Reading in the SYCOB goal. Half time, honours even.
The second half saw The Rams step up a gear and both Zak Joseph and Nathan Poulton created scoreable chances that weren't taken. The game totally turned on its head in the 58th minute though - Zak Joseph went on a run into the Crows box and was taken out by Royston keeper George Walton though the keeper also got the ball. Referee Gary Nowak saw it as deliberate and sent off Walton much to the anger of the Royston players and supporters. Up stepped Anthony Thomas to send stand-in keeper Lewis Endacott the wrong way, 1-0 to The Rams.
As is so often the case, ten men are harder to play against than 11, and within two minutes, after a great save by James Reading, Royston equalised from a corner that really should have been cleared. Sixty minutes, 1-1.
Manager Gary Meakin then made a triple substitution and one of the new arrivals, Aaron Lansiquot probably should have done better with both a shot and a header against the stand in keeper. The hard working Nathan Webb also created some presentable opportunities that were probably over played by SYCOB when maybe someone taking a shot would have produced better dividends.
Come the 89th minute and Nathan Poulton did indeed take a shot that screamed past Endacott and it looked like three points were coming The Rams way. Not to be though as Royston refused to give in and a bout of pressure led to a handball in the SYCOB area and ref Nowak - maybe in an effort to balance the penalty he awarded for The Rams - pointed to the spot. Sub Craig Hammond stepped up and duly dispatched it and 30 seconds later the final whistle went.
Credit to Royston for battling on against the odds. Hopefully The Rams will have learnt from this game how to convert overwhelming pressure into goals and the points will surely rise from one to three.
Come On You Rams!
SYCOB LINE UP
1. James Reading
2. Will Sturgess
3. Craig Carby
4. Yiadom Yeboah (Captain)
5. Jon Munday
6. Nathan Webb
7. Max McCann (Substitute: Michael Lewis)
8. Nathan Poulton
9. Aaron Morgan (Substitute: Wayne O'Sullivan)
10. Zak Joseph
11. Anthony Thomas (Substitute: Aaron Lansiquot)
Substitutes Not Used
12. Stefan Tomasevic
14. Tom Inch
SYCOB Man Of The Match: Nathan Webb