Battling Royston snatch a point

PUBLISHED: 16:44 08 November 2007 | UPDATED: 15:19 12 May 2010

Nick Ross

Nick Ross

Royston 2 Harpenden 2 DESPITE dominating long periods of the match, Royston had to come from behind to claim a point. Royston had much of the early possession and territorial advantage, but defensive errors proved costly as the visitors raced int

Royston 2 Harpenden 2

DESPITE dominating long periods of the match, Royston had to come from behind to claim a point.

Royston had much of the early possession and territorial advantage, but defensive errors proved costly as the visitors raced into a two- goal lead inside the first ten minutes.

Duncan Warner, Owen Russell, and Nick Ross all missed good chances for Royston, and the hosts did not get back into the match until the second half, when veteran defender Dave Barker struck from a short corner.

Harpenden then sat back, trying to defend their one goal lead, and an equaliser always looked likely.

A diving effort from Nick Hurd almost found the net, before a well placed shot from Russell made it 2-2.

Both teams had chances in the closing stages, but the match ended in a draw, leaving the teams level on points in third and second places in the league respectively.

Royston III 2 Welwyn Garden City 1

ROYSTON captain Nick Broadley says his side need to get back to basics after a narrow win over Welwyn.

Broadley, who was again hampered by poor availability of players, said: "I am happy with the win, but we are not fit enough yet.

"We need to coach our talented youngsters better in the basics of the game, otherwise we cannot challenge at the top of this league."

After Welwyn took an early lead, Royston took control of proceedings, constructing some intelligent attacks down both flanks.

Their pressure culminated in Arnie Whittaker netting the equaliser.

The second half was more open, with Royston dominating the first 20 minutes and hitting the front through Paul Visagie, following a series of short corners.

The closing stages saw Royston clinging on as Welwyn sought a second goal.

But some poor finishing let them down, and the home side held out for victory.

Earlier in the week, Royston had succumbed to a 4-1 defeat at home to Broxbourne VI.

A late strike from Paul Visagie was little consolation after a match which Broxbourne controlled for long periods.

Royston IV 3 Hertford IV 0

A LONG overdue clean sheet was the biggest positive to come out of Royston's win over Hertford.

Having conceded 20 goals in their first five matches, Royston's defence was in determined mood, typified by keeper Craig Jackson, who put in a man-of-the-match performance.

The opening goal came from Nick Freeman, after an excellent exchange of passes involving Freeman, Tim Yow, and Paul Bloomfield.

In the second half Hertford began to pressurise the home side's backline, but some inspired tackling preserved Royston's advantage.

Two goals in the last 10 minutes gave the scoreline a one-sided look.

First, skipper Matt Brunt and Freeman linked up to present Bloomfield with a chance which he finished emphatically.

Then Bloomfield turned provider, crossing for Freeman to tap in from close range.

Royston V 2 Winchmore End & Enfield 3

A KEITH Markham-inspired revival came too late for Royston to salvage anything from this match.

The experienced Enfield side took control early on, scoring three goals in a first half they dominated.

Royston got a foothold in the match in the second period, and began to breach the visitors' tiring back line at regular intervals.

Markham took both his goals with aplomb, but he and his teammates could not find a third goal which would have secured them a draw.

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