Barton Rovers rule the roost as Royston Town are humbled

Scott Bridges grabs Royston's late consolation

Scott Bridges grabs Royston's late consolation - Credit: Archant

If Royston Town are to finally earn Division One Central promotion after two successive play-off heartbreaks, then they will have to tend to their porous backline as soon as possible.

Having been annilihated 4-1 at home by unknown quantity Heybridge Swifts in the FA Cup last month, the Crows seemed to had found the formula in defence, notching three back-to-back clean sheets.

However, just nine days prior to this Rovers rout, Steve Castle’s men were hammered 4-1 at Hanwell Town and the same elementary errors were on display once more on Tuesday night.

The home side found themselves 3-0 down after just 12 minutes.

Connor Calcutt, who netted a hat-trick against Hanwell on Saturday, needed two bites of the cherry to beat Joe Welch but eventually forced the ball over the line for 1-0.

Three minutes later it was 2-0. More plodding defending allowed former Potters Bar Town midfielder Billy Addock to stroke in at the far post.

Royston were doing everything they could to assist Barton to an easy victory and in the 12th minute the towering Adam Murray tripped Calcutt just inside the box for a stone-wall spot-kick.

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The in-form marksman dusted himself down and found the corner from 12 yards for 3-0.

Murray was to play a big part in several incidents thereafter.

First, the hosts were handed a lifeline as he was bundled to the ground in the box for a spot-kick.

Lewis Todd was equal to Jack Bradshaw’s powerful penalty though.

The midfielder made amends soon after, touching in the rebound after Murray’s header had been parried off-target.

Three minutes later it was 3-2. Rovers were struggling to contain Murray at set-pieces and he thundered a header past Todd.

With Royston on the march, the visitors put a pin in their optimism via a 37th-minute wonderstrike.

Tricky winger Rod Orlando-Young let fly with a curler from 25 yards which left Welch a mere spectator.

The second half was a quiet affair in contrast until the 73rd minute.

Substitute Jordan Wynter’s left-foot 25-yard volley whizzed into the corner to all but assure Jimmy Gray’s side a fifth straight win.

There was still time for two more goals.

Orlando-Young made it 6-2 with a simple finish before Royston skipper Scott Bridges delivered the vital touch for a third consolation goal two minutes from time.

Town will need to react quickly if they are to avoid this mini-crisis becoming a full-on catastrophe.