Kingstonian win 4-3 on penalties
Royston Town report
Match report by Rupert Cane.
Kingstonian advanced to the second round of the FA Trophy courtesy of a penalty shoot-out victory at Royston Town.
The Southern League Premier Central side made life difficult for K’s in an absorbing cup tie that merited at least extra-time, if not a replay. However, a change in rules this season meant, with the teams locked at 1-1 after 90 minutes, we headed straight to penalties. At 3-3 after four each, Rob Tolfrey made a decisive save allowing Elliot Buchanan to convert the winning spot-kick.
Despite a bright start to the game from K’s, including a couple of shots that drifted wide, it was Tolfs who was called into action first, using his outstretched leg to deny Brandon Adams as the ref played a good advantage.
Overall K’s looked the more fluent in possession, finding space between the lines. Midway through the first half, Jason Banton released Daniel Ajakaiye. After a heavy touch took him too close to the Royston keeper Joe Welch, Ajakaiye recouped possession before being tripped, just inside the box, by James Brighton.
Gus Sow despatched his penalty into the top corner in now customary fashion. He now has 11 goals this season, nine of which have come from the spot.
Royston’s main threat stemmed from set-pieces and long throws, aiming to use their physical presence. Tolfrey caught a couple of headers in the first half, and shortly before the interval we were dealt a blow when Declan Skura had to come off injured, replaced by the fit-again Ollie Cook.
We were punished for not making more of our dominance of possession and territory early in the second half. A wide free-kick was headed onto the underside of the bar by Adam Murray and hacked away for a corner, from which Royston’s towering no.20 Dan Newton thundered a header past Tolfrey.
The Crows seized momentum and proceeded to have the better of things for much of the second half, K’s somewhat losing our way in the final third. We did create openings out wide but the final pass or cross proved elusive, leaving Welch with very little to do.
From another set-piece Tolfrey denied Murray, while Ed Asafu-Adjaye thundered a shot well over when well placed. The closing stages were tense and tight, both sides well aware of what was at stake, so penalties came as no great surprise.
Spyros Mentis blazed the third spot-kick over but immediately Banton’s low strike was comfortably saved, so 1-1 after two apiece. Ollie Cook and Kenny Beaney then scored for K’s, both sending Welch the wrong way, and while Tolfrey couldn’t keep out Tom Newman or Adams, he guessed right – literally – to thwart Isaac Galliford, who choreographed his kick. Buchanan was calmness personified with the 10th and final penalty of the shoot-out, sending K’s through to a home tie against Farnborough.
Royston Town: Joe Welch, Dan Newton, Adam Murray, James Brighton, Ronnie Henry, Scott Bridges, Ed Asafu-Adjaye, Spyros Mentis, Isaac Galliford, Brandon Adams, Harry Draper.
Subs: Dan Brathwaite, Taylor Keeley, Ollie Williams, Freddie Brown, Rhamar Douglas, Isa Rotimi (for Ronnie Henry, 80m), Tom Newman (for Harry Draper, 88m).
Goal scorers: Gus Sow (0-1 pen, 23m), Dan Newton (1-1, 49m)
Penalty shoot-out: Scott Bridges scored (1-0), Gus Sow scored (1-1), Spyros Mentis over bar (1-1), Jason Banton saved (1-1), Tom Newman scored (2-1), Ollie Cook scored (2-2), Brandon Adams scored (3-2), Kenny Beaney scored (3-3), Isaac Galliford saved (3-3), Elliott Buchanan scored (3-4)