Bates trio seals win

Royston Town Res 3 St Margaretsbury Res 2 ROYSTON produced arguably their best performance of the season so far to claim a notable scalp in this South Midlands Floodlight Cup fixture. This fine showing coupled to a hat-trick from in-form Lee Bates

Royston Town Res 3 St Margaretsbury Res 2

ROYSTON produced arguably their best performance of the season so far to claim a notable scalp in this South Midlands Floodlight Cup fixture.

This fine showing coupled to a hat-trick from in-form Lee Bates gave town a deserved win.

Starting the stronger Royston really could have had the game won in the first 25 minutes, failing to convert on three occasions with the opposition really looking like spectators.

It was the visitors who took the lead, but Town forced their way back into the game only to see all the good work undone with St Margaretsbury going 2-1 up almost on the stroke of half time.

Starting the second half again the stronger, Town again got themselves level, with Bates scoring in style following a fine through ball from Chris Geldhart.

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The winner came from the penalty spot, Bates kick being saved by the keeper, but then managing to crash home the rebound.

MK Scot 1 Royston Town Res 2

THE visitors needed to produce a gritty and dogged show to secure a deserved win away in Milton Keynes.

Putting out a slightly unfamiliar line up, Town took up the task in hand on a pitch more suitable for tractors than footballers.

The hosts started well with the wind at their backs, their direct and rather rugged style giving Town some problems.

Royston then lost influential skipper Danny Miles to injury, bringing young defender Simon Day into the fray, who grabbed his chance and produced a super performance on the left hand side.

MK took the lead with a defensive mistake allowing the forward to put the ball in over Sam Booth in the Royston goal.

This lead was never going to be enough however, and once turned round and with a team line up change it was Royston's turn to apply pressure. The equaliser came soon when Kieran Butler headed home at the near post.

This rattled the hosts who then became more involved in heated exchanges with referee, and also each other.

The referee became a busy man, booking eight players, and sending off the MK linesman.

Towns winner came again from Butler at close range, and with the hosts only offering a token fight back it was a resolute defence that held on to a deserved victory.

Braughing Rovers 3 Royston Town A 3

ROYSTON faced their most determined test of the season with this short trip to hosts Braughing.

A delayed kick off seemed to take its toll on the visitors who struggled to find any evidence of the seasons flair and deadly attacking play

They went a goal behind from a Graham Tibbles effort when the player craftily rounded stand-in keeper Chris Ingrey.

The goal was just reward for a hard working home team effort and although Royston continued to press through Rob Gwynne and the hard working James Bass the league leaders had to wait until 15 minutes before half time to level through Gwynne, before the same player scored his second to put Royston 2-1 up at the interval.

The opening period of the second half saw Town starting to show signs of regaining some kind of rhythm but the hosts stuck to a game plan and defended very well continuing to thwart every Royston attack before snatching an equalising goal on the break.

Almost from the restart Braughing took the lead following some extremely poor defending from the Royston players left the home team attacker a simple tap in.

Mr Reliable Bass dragged his side back into the game with a curling powerful drive and both teams looked for the winning goal.

The Crows being driven in their pursuit by skipper Brett Purkiss, but all to no avail.

Sandy Vets 5 Royston Town Vets 3

A FINE second half comeback could not prevent Crows going down in this eight goal thriller.

On the team front the two King's, Ian and Nick, returned in defence, with Daryl Quinn replacing holidaying Ian Stubbs in midfield, against what looked a weaker than normal Sandy side.

Town got off to the worst possible start when within a minute they were a goal down after a mix-up between Kevin Flack and Merv Chaffey.

The Town keeper, who has performed outstandingly this season, generously, offered Sandy a second after another mix-up, to make it 2-0 after five minutes.

A deflection off a Town defender generously provided an opportunity to Sandy's Peter Jiggles who, much to his team-mates surprise completed an unlikely hat-trick after just 10 minutes

With a mountain to climb, Quinn battled away tirelessly in midfield, Ian King was resolute in defence, Brian Cannon vocal at the back, Nick Humphries pace causing problems down the left, with Colin McArthur and Lewis probing up front and going close on a couple of occasions in what was an absorbing remainder of the first half.

Town came out looking for a more positive start to the second half only to find themselves 4-0 down within a minute of the restart.

A cross from Jiggles somehow curled into the far corner, leaving everyone astounded and the Sandy forward apologetic.

Town clawed their way back into the game, showing a real strength and resolve not seen for some time, creating a number of chances and looking by far the better side, finally pulling two goals back from deadly striker Lewis.

Chaffey redeemed himself with a couple of fine saves and Ian King battled away, allowing the dangerous Sandy winger no room at all, whilst contributing to surging forward.

Ironically it was Sandy who went further ahead, before Lewis completed an excellent game with yet another example of clinical finishing, with the home side happy to hear the referee's whistle bring proceedings to an end.

With this bringing 2006 to an end for the Vets, with just a warm up match next Sunday before the annual Christmas party lunchtime at Garden Walk, Terry Gore was full of praise for his team, saying "The boys showed real character and determination in coming back from being dead and buried when 4-0 down and finished the game by far the better of the two teams".

Great Chshill 5 Harston 1987 1

Chishill returned to winning ways on Saturday as they eventually overcame a battling Harston side.

It was fitness that was the key for the league leaders, as a flurry of late goals finished the tiring visitors off.

They performed well below par in the first half, but full-back Nick Bramwell gave them the lead, stretching a leg out to guide Luke Tyler's floated free-kick into the net.

Steve McGee and Gareth Edey both had chances to extend the lead, but Harston shocked the home side with an equaliser before half time. A long ball over the top caught the defence out, and the visiting striker finished superbly with a shot off the post.

It took a while for the home side to get into their rhythm after the break, and it looked like Harston could come away with at least a point.

But Chishill got their noses back in front after Oli Fitzgerald's shot ricocheted to Jonathan Drury, who chipped the ball over two defenders for his twelfth of the season.

After that the floodgates opened, and McGee curled a third into the top corner. With that, the visitors' spirit was shattered, and the hosts managed to slice through them on numerous occasions with some excellent passing moves.

Tyler broke free to roll a fourth goal past the keeper, making up for an earlier missed header.

The rout was completed after substitutes Russell Drury and Mark Burrows combined to send Tyler away down the right, and his low cross was deflected in by a defender.

Steeple Morden 4 Hempstead Utd 0

STEEPLE Morden returned to winning ways with an emphatic victory against Hempstead.

The home side bossed the game from the start and it was only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken.

Nick Carlton lifted an effort over the bar following a corner and Karl Parr rolled an effort just wide after a mazy run and cut back from Roy Dunsford.

When the goal came it was of the highest quality, a patient build up from the back left Martin Holt in space and he picked out Jamie Murphy who delivered a fantastic cross which was met by a towering header from top scorer Ben Holt.

Hempstead battled to keep the score to 1-0 at the interval but went further behind within 25 seconds of the restart.

Ben Holt nodded in his second at the near post after a driving run and cross from strike partner Roy Dunsford.

It was Dunsford who delivered the cross from the right which Nick Carlton confidently converted for the third to help him celebrate his birthday.

With Steeple dominating, the visitors struggled to make progress and a fourth followed good work from Ben Holt who dispossessed the full-back and put in a perfect cross. Whilst Joe Morris had his snapshot well saved, the rebound fell kindly for Steeple and was drilled home by Jamie Murphy.

As Morden pressed for a fifth which would have put them back to the top of the league, Joe Morris and Murphy both fired efforts over the bar and the hard working Dunsford was denied the goal he deserved by a defenders arm on the line.

The victory keeps Steeple in the top two going into the final game before the Christmas break at Wilbraham on Saturday.

Barton 4 Steeple Morden Reserves 1

IT'S going to be a long hard winter for Steeple Morden's second string.

After a fourth straight defeat, this time at the hands of Barton, they will be thankful for a week off where they can retreat and lick their wounds before once again Barton will provide the opposition.

It started brightly for the visitors and they enjoyed their fair share of the early exchanges but in an all too familiar scenario a lack of defensive concentration would be their undoing.

After clearing the initial danger from a corner, Morden's defence failed to shut down the second delivery and Paul Blackman stole in at the far post to head Barton into the lead from close range.

Ten minutes later the lead was doubled. Steve Little was judged to have committed a foul and Ali Smith netted the resultant penalty.

That lead was halved just before half-time when Darren Jarman raced onto a header from Jason Clark to drive the ball home from 20 yards and give Morden hope.

The crossbar came to the rescue of the home side immediately after the restart. David Buey finding Sam Cook out wide on the left and he cut inside to unleash a ferocious shot that crashed against the woodwork.

Meanwhile the referee's performance was becoming farcical, booking half a dozen players and threatening to abandon the game for no apparent reason and much to the bewilderment of both sets of players.

With 15 minutes remaining a fine piece of individual ability secured the game for the home team.

Blackman adding his second after a probing run at the heart of the Morden rearguard opened up some space and he finished with aplomb.

Adding insult to injury Morden conceded another penalty late on, this time Andy Morris scoring from 12 yards to give Barton a rather flattering 4-1 victory.

Shelford Falcons Reserves 3 Edward Jolly Boys 4

THE Edward Jolly Boys secured their first win of the season after an excellent comeback against higher rated opposition.

It was Falcons who started much the brighter, being a constant threat to another much changed Jolly Boys line up.

The pressure told and Shelford took a well deserved lead half way through the first half. Somewhat against the run of play though Jolly Boys hit back through Craig Hammond, and it was a sign of things to come.

Hammond picked the ball up just outside the box and crashed a low shot past the keeper to draw the away side level. Shelford continued to pressure the Jolly Boys goal and two good moves saw the home side take a 3-1 lead into the half time break.

The second half was a different storey entirely and the Jolly Boys came out of the blocks much the quicker with the ever-dangerous Hammond providing a constant threat, while his strike partner Ollie Fitzgerald was only denied by a great save from the Shelford keeper.

The pressure told though when Hammond again caused havoc in the home defence and when the ball fell to Paul Gibson he slotted home from 12 yards.

By now the Shelford defence were lacking in confidence and a mix up left Hammond to steal the ball from the centre back to streak away and coolly finish past the keeper.

The away side now sensed an unlikely victory and it was Hammond who pounced on some lacklustre defending to find his cross turned into his own net by a Shelford defender.

Falcons upped the pressure in the last ten minutes but the Jolly Boys held on to win and now hope to pull away from the bottom of the table after the Christmas break.