Colts finish season in style

Bishop s Stortford CFC Rovers U-12 1 Royston Town Colts A 2 COLTS completed their season in winning style with a workmanlike performance away to 10-man Rovers. The win consolidated third spot in the table and guaranteed a top four finish. The visi

Bishop's Stortford CFC Rovers U-12 1 Royston Town Colts A 2

COLTS completed their season in winning style with a workmanlike performance away to 10-man Rovers.

The win consolidated third spot in the table and guaranteed a top four finish.

The visitors began well, John Middlemass first to test Rovers' keeper, with Jack Bailey and Conor Saggers also going close.

The visitors controlled most of the play without really making the extra man count although Rovers' keeper was kept busy, most notably pulling off a double save from Lucas Sekobawane and then Jake Benstead from a wicked Max McLean corner, ending a surprisingly goalless first half.

In the second half, Colts began smartly, Saggers firing agonisingly wide after a swift break and through ball from Bailey.

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However, he did not have long to wait to make amends, latching onto a throw from Matt Cooney and firing in from an acute angle to give Colts a 1-0 lead.

Shortly after, Jordan Hall went close, almost netting after terrific run and cross from full-back, Cooney.

Colts eventually doubled their lead midway through the half top scorer, Sekobawane, notching his 15th of the season from close range after a teasing run and cross from McLean.

Rovers pulled one back in the final minute but it was no more than a consolation, Colts running out deserved 2-1 winners, ending a terrific league campaign with just five defeats - a statistic bettered only by the champions-elect Shefford.

Royston Town Colts U-12 3 Baldock Town 3

DESPITE another outstanding display of quality football Royston Town Colts winning streak came to an end against title chasing Baldock.

Colts started well, exerting all the early pressure through Ellis King and man-of-the-match Jake Booth.

When Baldock did break, Martyn Green and Jack Anderson were on hand to intercept and clear the danger, and Conner Long was safe in goal.

Town also switched the play well with fine work down the left by Will Heslam being swiftly followed by similar play down the right by Kieran Willis-Wright that set up Matt Brennan whose shot went just over from close range.

The breakthrough came when Lois Townsend cleared to Will Heslam, and he fed Jake Booth, who held the ball well before feeding Ellis King, who in turn threaded a fine pass through to a rampaging Kieran Willis-Wright.

He outpaced the remnants of the Baldock defence and finished well to put Colts ahead.

King added another five minutes later when with his back to the goal he produced a classy overhead chip thet left the Baldock keeper stranded.

Baldock responded well and would have scored but for fine goal-line clearances from Martyn Green and Jacob Leighton. Adam Sartini was relentless in midfield together with Matt Brennan.

It was the latter who battled well to win the ball in the centre of the pack and worked a sweet one-two with Keiran Willis-Wright before feeding King who released a thunderbolt that found the net to put Colts 3-0 up at the break.

The second half was a reflection of the first only this time with Baldock in ascendancy.

Colts were asleep for the first two minutes as Baldock walked the ball through a gawping colts midfield and defence to claim their first goal.

The second was a fine goal that came from a sweet corner that found the net without touching a player and the third shortly after from some quality play that broke through the Colts defence.

With the scores level Town's head's could have dropped but to their credit they rallied well and battled on.

Both sides had chances to take the game; a fine run by Nicky Garbut delivered the ball to Jake Booth who fired just wide.

That was followed by two free kicks from King both of which came close to breaking the deadlock. Indeed in the last few seconds of play Willis-Wright fired what looked like a winning shot goalwards only for it to shave the wrong side of the post.

Royston Town Colts U-15 1 Ware Youth Reds 4

ROYSTON'S splendid League Cup run came to an end in Sunday's semi final, as the challenge posed by this season's likely Division One champions ultimately proved too much for the hosts.

But they made a fight of it, and the excellent first half was too close to call.

If anything Colts made the better start, and their high flying visitors looked genuinely rattled at being pegged back in their own half for much of the opening 15 minutes.

Ware's defence was impressive, as befits a side still unbeaten in the league this year; but even so, Ricky Williams, Dominic Oxenford and Conor Barnard all created early chances.

Ware got into their stride as the half progressed, and more than once Colts' keeper Tom Monti had to be on his mettle as the visitors threatened to break through.

But he was equal to the challenge and there was nothing to separate the sides at half-time.

By contrast the second period got off to the worst possible start for Royston, when a Ware free kick struck one of Colts' wall on the hand and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Monti dived the right way but the shot was too powerful and the Reds had the lead.

Royston responded well and minutes later had the ball in the net thanks to an Adam Jinkerson strike, although the effort was ruled offside.

Undaunted, Colts continued to press and soon had their reward, with a trademark piledriver from Barnard putting them deservedly back on terms.

But any thoughts of a giantkilling act were short lived. An ill-judged attempt to shepherd the ball out of play allowed Ware to rob the ball close to Royston's byline, the resultant pass across the face of goal culminating in the easiest of tap-ins at the far post.

Minutes later Monti could only parry a Ware strike and the rebound again fell to the visiting strikers' feet, leading to another soft goal.

With Colts sensing that maybe this was not to be their day after all, the final Ware goal added insult to injury, as a speculative effort from the edge of the area slid right through a packed Royston defence, who seemed rooted to the spot as they watched the ball slide over the line.

Three soft goals should not disguise the fact that this was a plucky semi final performance by Royston, who showed they can mix it with the very best sides in the top flight.

With the team now free to concentrate on its promotion push, Colts will be hoping that this was a useful rehearsal for next season.