REPORT: ROYSTON TOWN
With Gedeon Okito unwell, and Captain and Leader of Men, John Sonuga, still recovering from injury, the Captain’s armband was passed to Arel Amu who has worked tirelessly throughout the season to engineer goals and chances for himself and his team-mates. If you want to find a personification of graft, endeavour and consistency, look no further than Arel Amu who played with his usual gusto and determination.
Ty Ward replaced Gedeon in defence and looked strong in the tackle and keen to push forward when opportunity arose. There was a starting place for recent signing Alex Ward who showed industry and endeavour in the heart of the midfield.
Casey Harker returned from injury and showed why he is held in such esteem at the Club with a confident display, a good command of his area and some brave punches and clearances.
Royston have acquitted themselves admirably in their first season in the Southern Premier League. Before kick off they sat comfortably in 9th position in the Table and are on an excellent run of form which has seen them win 7 of their last 10 matches, conceding a miserly 7 goals in that sequence. To put it in context only Hereford have a better record over the past 10 games, and over the last 6 games, Royston lead the pack.
Their win today at Creasey Park moved them into 6th position, only 4 points behind 5th place Tiverton, who occupy the last play off spot, but have 3 games in hand over the Devon side. This was always going to be a tough test for Dunstable given Royston’s excellent run of form.
Royston recruited wisely over the Summer last year and included former Lincoln City player, Adam Marriott, in their ranks today. Adam played 20 games for the Imps last season, scoring 4 goals, as the Cowley brothers’ Team not only won promotion to League 2 but went on an amazing FA cup run which included victories over Ipswich Town & Burnley, at Turf Moor, in a run which only came to an end against Arsenal at the Emirates. Adam has also played professionally at Stevenage Borough and has a goal scoring pedigree which the Dunstable defence battled manfully to try and contain. Today though Adam had the upper hand and few could argue that his hat trick was not well taken and thoroughly deserved.
However this should not detract from the fact that up until when the first goal went in on 19 minutes, Dunstable had rebuffed sustained Royston pressure and had themselves looked lively and threatening on the break. A second goal 5 minutes later for Royston to make the score 2-0 was a big set back but never under estimate our Boys when adversity strikes. They may be young and inexperienced at this level, but they play like their lives depend on a good result and never let their heads go down. The Regiment was in full voice showing them their unstinting backing and as the half wore on Dunstable began to get a foothold back in the game, with some lovely link up play particularly with Ty Ward & the wizardry of Andrew Osei-Bonsu creating all kinds of havoc behind the Royston back line. A goal back before half time would not have been unfair but despite knocking on the door the mean Royston defence remained impervious.
Tony & Gareth switched things around at half time with Ethan Lamptey and Ben Collins being replaced by the ever industrious pair of Lanre Ladipo and Saul Williams. Sustained pressure ensued and Dunstable looked confident as they moved the ball around quickly looking for a chink in the Royston armour. Charlie Black replaced Ryan Young on 64 minutes. Ryan had tried as hard as any of his colleagues on what was a frustrating afternoon for players, management and supporters.
With 2/3rds of the game played, Royston were awarded a free kick some 25 yards away from the Dunstable goal. A well directed strike evaded the wall and Casey’s dive. 3-0 to Royston. Surely there would be no way back for Dunstable now.
A couple of minutes later Dunstable produced one of those magical moments when Lanre Ladipo and Andrew Osei-Bonsu played some lovely football which ended with a dangerous cross into the box which Charlie Black, perhaps still adjusting to the pace of the game having only coming on as sub 4 minutes earlier, couldn’t quite find the finish the cross deserved. He lifted his shirt over his head as the Creasey Park faithful felt every bit of his pain and frustration. Charlie will score goals at this level, be in no doubt of that. Those of us who witnessed his predatory eye for goal at Bishop Stortford and his swivelling half volley there which gave Dunstable the lead, know this young man has, in common with all of his Team mates, a desire to play football, a desire to be the best he can be, and a desire to not let anyone down. Despite the score today the players kept going not letting themselves or the supporters down. Win, lose or draw, these players put in a shift every time and remain a credit to themselves and the Club.
Two more goals from Royston showed what a clinical, well organised Team has evolved over the course of the season at Garden Walk. Adam Marriott completed a well deserved hat trick with Scott Bridges scoring a brace making the final score 5-0 in Royston’s favour. Few could argue today that Royston had not deserved their victory and justified their position as the most successful team in the current form table.
Next up for Dunstable is a trip next Saturday to Hampshire to play Farnborough who will be out to avenge their defeat at Creasey Park earlier in the season. Tony and his management colleagues will be eager to complete the double over them and will spend the intervening time planning methodically as they do before every game. There remains a great spirit in the camp. Work progresses off the field to secure more sponsorship and continue building links into the local community. To coin a phrase Rome wasn’t built in a day and the reformation of Dunstable Town FC will continue to take time and a lot of hard work from all involved.
You are central to all that is going on both, behind the scenes and on the field. We are hugely grateful for your support and your generosity in supporting our various fund raising initiatives which benefit the Club enormously. I’m giving you a pass this week and won’t make any attempt to impersonate an American TV Evangelist and ask for more of your money. We are grateful for all that you’ve done thus far and thank you for your support, your generosity and for the commitments that you have made to help us make the Club a sustainable fan run club. The journey has just began and the story continues. We are Dunstable Town.