M2s 2 - Royston 2s 2 (Holt, Graves)
Games against Royston are often enjoyable, hard fought games, often close and often played in good spirit, and so it was this Saturday. Royston started hard, fast and early, but the Stevenage defence were a wall on which the Royston attacks crashed and failed. Stevenage came into the game and, for long periods, kept Royston in their half, but a break away led to a speculative ball into the D, and, what should have been a deflection into the roof of the goal, was scuffed and beat the keeper, who had covered the intended contact. This didn't see Stevenage defeated; in fact, it upped the tempo a notch further and after 3 attacks on the left wing, a quick dish round the back sent Harry Wheeler away on the right, who pulled the ball back to Olly Holt, who shot from the top of the D, the ball moving too fast for the keeper to get his legs together in time and the game was equal. Stevenage could have done without half time and were in the ascendancy, with Olly being unlucky with a reverse strike that flew just over the cross bar.
The team came out strong in the second half and continued to hold formation and pass the ball. The defence are clearly getting to know each other as Josh Poulton covered for one of Adam Spicer's runs. In a rare moment when Stevenage were not switched on, the opposition centre back brought the ball forward and was unopposed when he hit a tame speculative shot into the D. The lack of pace fooled our defender and it clipped his foot, beating the GK. Again Stevenage were not bowed. With 10 minutes to go they went about setting things right. Terry Salisbury cleared the lines with a pass up to Harry, who once more terrorised their left back. Flicking it goalwards, the ball fell to David Spicer, who was cynically blocked in his attempt to put the ball in the goal. As the umpire blew for a PF, David managed to get free and score, but it was too late. While the team were getting their instructions for the last 5 mins from their injured captain, Paul Graves calmly stepped up and put the penalty flick away. Once more Stevenage were in the ascendancy toward the end of the match and could have done with 5 more minutes to seal a victory. But the first points of the season moving the team up the league were well received. Man of the Match was Paul Graves, whose presence in the middle of the pitch helped with the structure.