Club victory is a tribute to former teammate Matthew

Royston III 3 Harpenden 1 ROYSTON dedicated Saturday s win over Harpenden to the memory of former player Matthew Windebank who died six days earlier. The 41-year-old played for Royston for many years and regularly lined up alongside many of the third a

Royston III 3 Harpenden 1

ROYSTON dedicated Saturday's win over Harpenden to the memory of former player Matthew Windebank who died six days earlier.

The 41-year-old played for Royston for many years and regularly lined up alongside many of the third and fourth team players.

A spokesman for the club said: "Matthew was a much loved, and an enthusiastic player of the game and supporter of the club.

"His former teammates honoured his memory with a minute's silence and passionate victories on the pitch."

Royston played some inspired hockey, dazzling Harpenden with their quick passing and individual skill, and clinched automatic promotion.

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But the opening goal was a long time coming, although it was eventually dispatched by goal machine Nick Freeman following quick-thinking by Paul Visagie.

In the second half, Royston continued to turn on the style and they were rewarded with two more goals courtesy of Freeman, and Andy Simmons' brilliant drive from a tight angle.

The visitors hit Royston with a late consolation following a questionable short corner for what was their first shot of the game, but the game was all but wrapped up.

Blueharts 1 Royston IV 3

depleted Royston came away with another deserved victory.

Down to 10 men and with enforced changes all round man-of-the-match Mike Papworth, Colin Smith, and Matt Brunt held the defence tight and were only breached once, just before half-time.

Having also taken part in the minute's silence, Royston showed strong character and attitude, and caught their hosts off guard with their precise passing and quick attack.

They were rewarded when Paul Bloomfield and Steve Gourd combined with the former driving a clean low shot beyond the keeper's reach for his 27th goal of the season.

Mike Parsons then slotted home a second for Royston after some powerful play from Gourd, although the hosts hit back just before half-time.

In the second half Royston continued to dominate, with midfielders Colin Bateman, Chris Watson, Mike Parsons, and George Moffat outwitting their Hitchin counterparts.

Gourd hit the post twice and Moffat also had a shot cannon off the post, with the hosts' keeper the busier of the two number ones. And it was Gourd who added Royston's third when he followed up his powerful strike with a coolly taken rebound.

With three games left, Royston are still pushing for the promotion places and with Broxbourne up next it looks set to be an entertaining end to the season.

Stevenage 0 Royston 2

A DISCIPLINED performance from Royston saw off derby rivals Stevenage with The Crows easing home.

After a bright start, Royston were soon on the back foot, with Stevenage forcing a great save from keeper Craig Jackson.

However, it was The Crows who proved the most effective, controlling the tempo of the game with their impressive attacking hockey.

Despite Royston's pressure, some defiant defending by the hosts made it difficult to break the deadlock, before Nick Hurd scored with a powerful shot.

Then leading scorer, Owen Russell rode three challenges before sliding the ball past the oncoming keeper.

It was a deserved victory for Royston and one that keeps their promotion hopes intact.

Shefford and Sandy 4

Royston Ladies 2

ROYSTON slipped to a controversial defeat, despite the best efforts of player-of-the-match Mel Harding.

The hosts opened the scoring early on with a well-taken penalty flick, before adding a second following a short corner.

Julie Fuller reduced the arrears midway through the half with a brilliant reverse stick move on the Shefford keeper for a cool finish, with Royston ending the half with the momentum.

However, Shefford added a third after the break, although Royston keeper Harding made a number of superb blocks to keep them at bay.

The visitors responded well and Rosie Polge pulled Royston back with another fine strike when she slotted home at the back post.

But then Royston had two players green carded, and they were furious after suffering what they felt were some bad decisions.

To make matters worse, Shefford nabbed a fourth with a controversial goal late on, condemning Royston to a frustrating defeat.

Royston Ladies II 10

Leighton Buzzard III 0

SEVEN goals from in-form Lucy Davidson helped Royston to their second 10-0 hammering of the season.

The visitors arrived with only 10 players, and were immediately made to pay with Louise Arnold and Michelle Clement firing home early strikes.

Davidson then got in on the act, running Leighton Buzzard ragged with an impressively taken first-half hat-trick.

Royston continued the pressure after the restart and within minutes Davidson had made it 6-0, before slotting home three more to take the game well beyond doubt, and registering her 35th goal of the season.

Sarah Farmer completed the rout following some intelligent play from young wingers Natasha ­Greenstein and Kirsty Penfold.

Royston Ladies III 3

Hertford II 1

DOMINATING from the off, Royston ran out comfortable winners.

However, it was Hertford who opened the scoring, following a defensive error, although within minutes Sarah Warren's brilliant run found Heather Polge, who slotted the ball home for a well-taken leveller.

In the second half Royston deservedly edged in front, with Warren instrumental once more, this time freeing Caroline Yarrow at the top of the D, who smashed the ball past a stranded Hertford keeper.

The Crows then saw a series of short corners go begging, although one did pay off with Polge turning home Lisa Thompson's powerful strike.