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By Jamie Arrowsmith Wednesday 20 February 2013 Updated: 20/02 17:30
Royston Town 0 Rugby Town 1
Southern League Division One Central
Match abandoned after 66 minutes
TOWN were denied the chance to return to the top of the table on Saturday when their trip to Garden Walk was abandoned in controversial circumstances following an horrific injury to the influential Robbie Banks.
The visitors were a goal and a man up when Banks was stretchered off and eventually taken to hospital with a broken leg, at which stage the supporters expected the game to continue.
However, Royston’s players refused to return for the final 25 minutes forcing the referee to abandon the contest, much to the disgust of Town boss Dave Stringer and Valley’s supporters.
The match itself was an entertaining affair with Rugby making a good start when Sam Youngs headed just off target from Lewis McBride’s free kick and David Kolodynski shooting straight at keeper Will Norris after a good knockdown from Ellis Myles.
Rugby were playing well but the home side were not without chances as Ryan Ingrey saw a looping header go over the bar and Kaan Fehmi fired an accurate shot straight into Andy Stevens’ arms.
The turning point of the contest came a minute before the break when Royston captain Jason Beck was sent off for a high and dangerous tackle on McBride. The defender had to go but remonstrated with the ref before finally leaving the pitch.
With Royston down to ten men, Rugby had a chance to take advantage and substitute Seb Lake-Gaskin saw his effort go way wide from another McBride set piece before the game a given a touch of brilliance from Kolodynski.
A Lake-Gaskin cross found the striker who spectacularly scored with an overhead kick to score one of his best goals for the club.
With Rugby in control, Royston knew it would be tough to get back into the game and saw the impressive Lake-Gaskin see another shot go wide.
Then came the injury to Banks in the 65th minute following a 50-50 challenge with everybody immediately knowing it was serious.
After lying on the pitch for 15 minutes he was taken to the changing rooms where he waited for the ambulance to take him to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, where it was confirmed his leg was broken.
Despite the pleas for the game to carry on, Royston players said no and the match was abandoned.
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