EGHAM TOWN 3 ROYSTON TOWN 1
By Tempest Ward
BP double seals Goldy standard victory
EVO-STIK SOUTHERN DIVISION ONE CENTRAL
TUESDAY 5 APRIL 2016
EGHAM TOWN 3 (0)
Goldy Capela (62), Bajram Pashaj 2 (67 (pen), 86)
ROYSTON TOWN 1 (1)
Jack Bradshaw (14, pen)
Egham Town returned to the top of the Evo-Stik Southern One Central division with this thrilling win against Royston Town. The Cambridgeshire side will host the Sarnies on the last day of the regular season and will be looking to avenge this setback. They are now third, where the Sarnies were, and in the middle are Kings Langley, who drew 0-0 at Fleet Town. Fleet visit Egham on Tuesday; this time it is Egham looked for the avenging, having lost at Calthorpe Park recently. Of the other sides in and around the play-off places, St Ives did not play, while AFC Rushden & Diamonds (visiting Egham 16 April) went down 1-2 at Arlesey, where Egham had won 7-0. Diamonds are in fifth, above Chalfont St Peter (where Egham play on Saturday) on goal difference. Aylesbury lost 0-1 at Godalming Town and are five points adrift of the Saints with three games in hand. Two of their remaining games are at home against St Ives and Royston. This is a very tight promotion battle.
New striker Goldy Capela started, not surprisingly given his wonderful two goal performance against Petersfield United on Saturday. He partnered Chris Moore up front, with leading scorer Brendan Matthew again on the bench. Bajram Pashaj (pic) was the first to get a shot on target after an understandably cagey first few minutes. His shot was parried by keeper Ronnie Yates, with Capela racing in hoping for scraps. Just before the quarter hour Royston were awarded a penalty. To be honest, as I was down the other end, I did not see who was deemed culpable, or for what, but Jack Bradshaw scored the spot kick. Capela and Pashaj, who seemed to form an instant partnership in the previous game as the former took advantage of the former’s skill and vision, combined soon after the goal, Pashaj seeing his shot deflected wide. It was clear that Royston were dangerous; their goal was the 88th in their league campaign, at least 13 more than any other side. There were scares in the Egham defence but with Hassan Sulaiman and Ryan Parsons (full backs) and centre backs Reece Yorke and skipper Luke Neville towering and powerful a good deal of the organisation and security that has seen the Sarnies have the second best “goals against” column (36; St Ives have 33) have made welcome returns. Moore was not quite as influential as he had been in the previous game but his thunderous shot deserved better than being belted out for a corner. Then Pashaj went solo from deep before skying his shot over the bar. There was perhaps something telling when, with 50 minutes still to play, giant defender Ryan Frater was cautioned for time wasting.
Egham had done enough in the first half for Sarnies’ fans to think the one goal deficit was not insurmountable. Manager Gary Meakin swapped Ollie Jones, who had put in a decent first half shift, in midfield for the more attacking option of Chris Henry, and with eight minutes gone the sub created an opening for Capela, who was denied by Danny May’s clearance. Just after the hour Egham were level. That it was Pashaj with the assist was no shock. What did shock everyone was the quality of what followed as Capela, marshalled by two tight markers, made mastery of the ball look deceptively easy before turning on an atom and hammering a blistering drive into the net from just inside the box. Royston were looking rattled, as shown by Yates’ panicky punch of a Pashaj over his own bar. From the corner Egham had a penalty of their own, for handball. Pashaj blasted his spot kick past Yates. Once again the Crows pushed on, this time Egham always having someone with enough of a clear headed approach to getting the ball out of the danger area. At this juncture I think it is time I have to mention the at times overlooked contributions in midfield of Wes Daly and Kurtney Brooks, a dynamic duo who, as against Petersfield, were tireless in closing down the opposition while always looking to move the ball forward. They have been doing this for the majority of the season, and long may it continue. With just over ten minutes left Ryan Parsons’ dipping cross almost found the inside of the far post, with Capela looking to capitalise. Four minutes of normal time remained when Pashaj crowned another splendid performance with a goal of pure quality as he cut in from the left, defenders trailing in his wake, before curling an absolute beauty into the far corner. Royston still posed a threat, and with three minutes of injury time gone would have pulled a goal back had Jamie Norris not pulled off a brilliant point blank save off Dan Brathwaite’s header from corner. The Crows must have known this game had got away from them when Bradshaw missed an open goal just before the final whistle.
EGHAM TOWN: Jamie Norris, Hassan Sulaiman, Ryan Parsons, Reece Yorke, Luke Neville (Captain), Wes Daly, Ollie Jones, Kurtney Brooks, Chris Moore, Goldy Capela, Bajram Pashaj. Substitutes: Mitchell Gutteridge, Jake Cass (Moore, 82), Chris Henry (Jones, HT), Brendan Matthew (Capela, 87).