Crows fly past City
St Albans City 0 Royston Town 2 (Ross Collins 87, Ryan Lockett 90) James Ronayne at Clarence Park TWO late goals condemned St Albans City to more cup misery as they crashed out of the Herts Senior Cup at the hands of Spartan South Midlands side Royston
St Albans City 0
Royston Town 2 (Ross Collins 87, Ryan Lockett 90)
James Ronayne at Clarence Park
TWO late goals condemned St Albans City to more cup misery as they crashed out of the Herts Senior Cup at the hands of Spartan South Midlands side Royston Town.
Ross Collins' sweetly struck volley and Ryan Lockett's clinical finish gave the Crows the victory and set up a tie with Cheshunt in the next round.
City had actually started positively with Drew Roberts having the first real chance but the Saints top scorer fired wide from 20 yards.
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Then, a testing cross from Ross Dedman down the right forced Lewis Endacott to head behind with Angus McLachlan waiting to pounce at the far post.
Royston received a set back when centre-half Luke Jones was forced off injured with Ben Stocker taking his place.
A quick breakaway from Royston involving Ricky Young and Josh Bronti was ended with a superbly timed tackle by Peter Smith.
A lovely move by City 24 minutes in should've produced the opening goal. Neat passing from Sol Shields in midfield set Gary Cohen away, he cut back inside and lofted a cross to the far post where McLachlan raced in but shot over the bar.
City had the ball in the back of the net when Adam Everitt who fired home from a Ryan Frater flick only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.
Royston managed to string a series of passes together with Carl Edwards releasing Lockett but just as the Crows striker engineered some space in the City box, Smith dived in to disposes the Royston man.
City had a scare when Luke Robins cross found the unmarked Ricky Young and his header bounced off the far post and into the grateful arms of goalkeeper Adam McWeeney.
A jinking run by McLachlan created an opening for the Australian attacker but he shot straight at Jorden Gibson.
City again went close to opening the scoring in the 39th minute when Shields slipped in Cohen and he raced past Stocker only to see his shot narrowly deflected wide.
From the resulting corner Smith found Everitt at the far post but his header was cleared off the line by a Royston defender.
A fantastic pass by Smith nearly got Roberts away on the right but a great sliding tackle by Danny Apostolos saw the ball go behind for a corner.
City tried to turn the screw and turn their dominance into goals but they were constantly rebuffed by the Royston back line.
McLachlan picked up an Everitt throw and fed Cohen who spun his marker expertly only to see his shot tipped over the bar by Gibson.
Gibson came to Royston's rescue again in first half stoppage time when he dived bravely to block at Roberts' feet with Cohen firing narrowly over the bar from the rebound.
Three minutes into the second half City gave a debut to Babtunde Ayodele, with the Nigerian coming on in place of Solomon Shields.
A clever run by Luke Robins created space for Ross Collins but his effort was blocked by Justin Clayton with Edwards heading over the bar from the following move.
Royston had started the second half well and Robins was again involved teeing up Lockett but his effort was held by McWeeney.
Cohen fired a fierce shot at Gibson that was the result of a flowing move from City that was started near their own goal line and involved Magwood, Dedman and Ayodele.
It was the start of a sustained period of pressure from the hosts and although they carved out a host of chances but couldn't make a breakthrough.
Cohen wriggled free and stood a cross up to the far post for McLachlan but his header was blocked on the line by David Cain. Danny Johnson picked up the loose ball and played in Roberts but he screwed his shot wide.
Luke Jackaman was given his first team debut when he came on for McLachlan in the 66th minute.
Jackaman was involved from the off drilling in a low cross for Roberts on the edge of the box but his low shot was easily held by Gibson.
A cross from Johnson found Roberts but his half volley was blocked by Ayodele with the ball rolling wide of the goal.
Royston staged a rare attack 15 minutes from time but Robbins fired well over the bar at the York Road end of the ground.
A Jackaman free kick caused chaos in the box as Gibson fumbled the ball but Cohen's shot was deflected wide of the open goal.
Then disaster struck for City as Royston took the lead three minutes from time when Collins volleyed home.
A super cross from the right from Lockett was only headed as far as Collins by Clayton. The Royston skipper took the ball on his chest before firing home from 20 yards, with a finish that would've graced any level of football.
As City pushed for an equaliser, the Crows rubbed salt in the wounds with a second goal in the final minute when Young raced down the right and squared for Lockett who fired confidently past McWeeney.
St Albans City: McWeeney; Dedman, Everitt (Clayton 46), Frater, Smith; Johnson, Shields (Ayodele 49), Magwood, McLachlan (Jackaman 66); Cohen, Roberts.
Subs not used: Ashcroft, Sagna.
Royston Town: Gibson; Endacott, Jones (Stocker 12) , Cain, Apostolos; Edwards, Collins, Bronti (Fehmi 79), Robins; Young, Lockett.
Subs not used: Cook, Dolan.
Referee: Mick Russell (St Albans)
Man of the Match: Rob Magwood.