Blues knocked out of the FA Cup by Crows

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FA Cup, first qualifying round: Royston Town 2 Dunstable Town 0

Despite a plucky second-half performance, 10-man Dunstable Town were knocked out of the FA Cup at fellow Southern League Premier Division side Royston Town on Saturday.

The two teams had played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at Garden Walk seven days previously which gained Dunstable their first league point of the season and the visitors were anxious to dispel the memory of their recent hefty defeat against league leaders Banbury United.

Former Blues players Matt Nolan and John Frendo were in the Crows squad, as Royston started well, forcing successive corners and very nearly took the lead when a mis-timed pass from Lanre Ladipo led to a fine shot from Ryan Ingrey, well saved by Garry Malone.

Royston skipper Scott Bridges blasted a 30-yard free-kick over the bar, while Potton brought a fine save from Malone following another corner.

Dunstable had some rare attacks as Gedeon Okito’s cross was cut out, while Arel Amu’s shot was blocked, before the hosts were ahead on 25 minutes, Gus Scott-Morriss’s cross fired home by Adam Marriott.

Daniel Braithwaite did get a header into the Dunstable net but it was dismissed for off-side, as Blues were left with a mountain to come after 36 minutes, Braddy Makuendi’s late challenge on Braithwaite deemed serious enough to warrant a straight red card.

But Royston had their chances to increase their lead before the interval with two blocked shots and a header from Potton that cannoned off the crossbar.

In the second period, there was a double chance for Dunstable as Nimmy Aji beat the offside trap and saw his shot beaten away, Arel Amu’s rebound saved by Joe Welch.

Scott-Morriss had a shot saved, with Bridges off target, while Dunstable had replaced Ben Collins with Claudio Silva, who came very close to equalising, as Welch made another excellent stop.

With eight minutes to go though, Dunstable were on their way out as a breakaway saw the defence left stranded as sub Jack Vasey kept his cool to beat Malone.

Into the final five minutes and first Frendo missed a golden chance, as did Bridges, before Frendo was dismissed after picking up a second yellow for kicking the ball away.

Dunstable are back in league action this weekend, as they travel to Slough Town and then head to Chesham United next Tuesday.

Royston: Joe Welch, Ed Asafu-Adjaye, Lee Chappell, Scott Bridges (C), Adam Murray, Daniel Braithwaite (Josh Castiglione), Gus Scott-Morriss, Stuart Bridges, Ryan Ingrey (Jack Vasey), Adam Marriott (John Frendo), James Potton.

Dunstable: Garry Malone, Ben Collins (Claudio Silva 45), Gedeon Okito, Lanre Ladipo, John Sonuga (C), Scott Betts, Ryan Young (Aaron Hudson 83), Brandy Makuendi, Oluwanimilo Ajigbolamu (Justin Koeries 73), Arel Amu, Keiran Ogden.

Attendance: 234.