Royston Town warmed up for their big derby clash against Hitchin Town with a first Southern League Premier Division Central win in five games.

The Crows defeated AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2-1 at Garden Walk to climb up the standings to 15th, three points above the relegation zone.

It took seven minutes for Royston to get their noses in front.

A corner from the left bounced off a few heads before landing perfectly at the feet of Ronnie Henry six yards out and he thrashed home a volley.

That's how it remained for the rest of the half too, with both sides having chances and Dimi Kyriatzis pulling off a fine save from close range in the dying moments.

He was unable to stop Rushden from equalising on 53 minutes but the introduction of top scorer Matt Bateman made the crucial difference.

And for the second week running he scored from the penalty spot, his 81st minute effort taking him to 14 for the season and giving Royston all three points.

The kick-off time against the Canaries on Saturday is one to note, the game at Garden Walk starting at 1.30pm.

Among the much-changed squad against Rushden was Alfie Williams, the young midfielder arriving at the club on loan from Stevenage until the end of the season.

The 19-year-old has spent time on loan previously at Kings Langley, Hemel Hempstead Town and Hayes & Yeading United.

He joined Stevenage's academy after being released by Tottenham Hotspur and signed his first professional contract the League Two side in April last year.

Having been an unused substitute in the first team on three occasions, he made his debut for Boro off the bench in the 1-0 win away to Scunthorpe United in May 2021.

His time with Stevenage put him under the supervision of Crows defender Henry.

Royston Town's women saw their thrilling run in the FA Cup come to an end with an extra-time defeat at home to London Seaward.

Played in front of a club record crowd for a ladies' game of 243, an own-goal had dragged the Crows level at half-time but it needed a second equaliser from Poppy Smith in the third minute of stoppage time to send the game to an extra period.

Seaward though, who play one step higher than level five Royston in National Division One South East, would not be denied and they clinched a 3-2 win and a match at Ipswich Town in round two.