A few bits of quality were needed for Roston Town to complete a thrilling comeback against Bedford Town according to manager Steve Castle.

The Crows had led 1-0 in the first half through Shomari Barnwell before finding themselves 2-1 down after the break.

However, Kian Harness levelled and with six minutes remaining, Matt Bateman nipped in front of goalkeeper Max Evans to score his 12th league goal of the season and secure a 3-2 victory in the Southern League Premier Division Central.

Royston boss Castle said: "At the start of the season we let two winnable games slip by us and had we got them at the time we would have gone top.

"That just shows how important it is. Draws are okay but at home you don’t want to make that a habit.

"That changes slightly away from home but we are always going to go for the win.

“It was a good spectacle but wasn’t good for both team’s heart-rate."

Bedford appointed Paul Davis five days ago and he nearly got off to a strong start, if not for Bateman’s late flick.

Castle said: "They had a new manager to impress, which they certainly did.

"They played to the end and it took a few bits of quality from us to get the victory.

"I thought the first goal was excellent and the delivery and execution for the third was worth the win.

"I don’t want to go too far but Matt was always working hard and he would like to score more goals, like that one, but we can build on that.

"The work rate shown by everyone over the past couple of weeks is working as we are getting the goals and the wins."


The game had begun with Royston camped in their own box for the opening 10 minutes.

Bedford were unable to turn their possession into any substance though and they were stung when Cole Dasilva was released down the right-hand side, delivering a cross that was converted by Barnwell.

Once Royston took the lead though, they found they had more possession and Barnwell nearly scored his second, attempting an overhead kick that rebounded off the post.

But the Eagles suddenly turned it around with goals either side of the interval.

Joe Butterworth picked up a half-cleared ball and beat Louis Chadwick with power to equalise before Joe Tomlinson scored a volley six minutes into the second half.

Royston's equaliser through Harness saw the substitute react faster than anyone else to arrive first to the rebound after a Bateman effort hit the crossbar.

But Bateman would get his reward for a tireless personal performance, the forward racing onto a lofted free-kick to flick it over the onrushing Evans with minutes remaining.

The result moves Royston up to 12th with a trip to Stourbridge next up on Saturday, the side two places and one point beneath the Crows.