Beaten 1-0 at rain-soaked Royston
Calor League –
Royston Town 1
Rugby Town 0
Valley’s run of seven games without defeat came to an end in Hertfordshire on Tuesday evening, with the hosts’ thirtieth minute goal ultimately deciding matters.
The rain-soaked Garden Walk surface did little to boost the game as a spectacle, and with Rugby down to just eleven fit and available senior players, it was always going to be a tough ask of Dave Stringer’s side.
To their credit, it was the visitors that seized the initiative for the bulk of the game – creating the majority of the goalscoring opportunities, but unfortunately it was Royston’s more direct approach that prevailed in the end.
Lewis McBride, Steve Palmer and Aaron Moses-Garvey all returned to the once-more makeshift starting line-up, with just two youth team players – Josh Cooke and Jack Malone – warming the bench.
Rugby edged matters in terms of possession early on, and Royston keeper Will Norris was the first to be called in action, easily saving Mitchell Piggon’s header to Ellis Myles’s cross to the far post.
The only goal of the game came after Myles had lost the ball high up the pitch, and the home side broke quickly – with Kaan Fehmi providing the cut-back for Ryan Ingrey to tap in.
Rugby’s next opportunity also fell to Piggon, but he somehow scooped the ball over the frame. Another great chance then went begging after Seb Lake-Gaskin’s through ball to David Kolodynski saw the leading scorer try and pass to Piggon – when a direct strike of his own would arguably have been a better option.
A Sam Spencer header from a corner that drifted just wide of the target was a rare attacking highlight for Royston ahead of the interval.
The second period pretty much followed the pattern of the first, with Valley generally dictating affairs – without necessarily producing a quality end-product.
Lake-Gaskin did put a good chance just wide of the near post, after he had dovetailed well with Kolodynski, and Palmer’s neat pass to Kolodynski also resulted in an off-target effort.
Moses-Garvey’s trickery almost set-up Piggon, but Taylor Parr did well to cut out the cross after the Rugby wide-man had nutmegged an opponent.
Valley continued to search in vain for a goal though, with Josh O’Grady putting his effort just wide of the post, after good build-up play by Lake-Gaskin and Moses-Garvey.
The elusive equaliser almost came with the final attacking play of the game, but Lake-Gaskin’s floated left foot effort from the edge of the area struck the outside of the post.