Colts get off the mark

Royston Town Colts U-11 A 6 Baldock Town Yth Crusaders 3 COLTS clinched their first league win of the season with a superb all-round team performance in this bottom-of-the-table clash. In a reversal of last week, Colts dominated play from the start, Jake

Royston Town Colts U-11 A 6 Baldock Town Yth Crusaders 3 COLTS clinched their first league win of the season with a superb all-round team performance in this bottom-of-the-table clash. In a reversal of last week, Colts dominated play from the start, Jake Benstead registering his first goal of the season at the second attempt after a great run and cross from Jordan Hall. At the back, Colts' new-look defensive line-up of Cooney and Hunter flanked by Chapman and Kilroy were working hard to maintain a tight unit. Keeper John Middlemass continued where he left off last week with some vital stops to deny Crusaders an early reply. Benstead nearly made it two from a Lewis Harley corner, Crusaders' keeper making a fine point-blank save, However, he could do nothing to stop Jack Bailey doubling Colts' lead minutes later, netting the rebound from another fierce Benstead drive. Crusaders pulled one back with a quick move down the right before Benstead restored the Colts lead with his second of the match, blasting in a corner at the back post after good work from Bailey and Harley. Saggers and Sekobawane replaced Stafford and Bailey at the start of the second period, with Smith on in place of Middlemass. Royston picked up where they left off, playing some delightful passing football. Benstead shot just wide after a terrific mazy run and Sekobawane almost found the net from another superb move involving himself, Hunter and Harley. Lewis Hunter notched Colts' fourth with a beautifully-struck long-range effort which gave the keeper little chance. Crusaders battled-on valiantly battled, hitting the bar before pulling it back to 4-2. Victor Faletta joined the fray just in time to see Benstead put in Sekobawane for Colts' fifth. As the clocked ticked down, the visitors grabbed a third via the bar before Faletta broke free of the Crusaders defence to seal Colts' first long-overdue league win of the season. Colts: J Middlemass, A Chapman, M Cooney, L Hunter, M Kilroy, H Stafford, J Benstead, J Hall, L Harley, J Bailey, M McLean. Subs: N Smith, C Saggers, L Sekobawane, V Faletta, L Webb. Bishop's Stortford Youth U-11 1 Royston Town Colts 0 COLTS sank to only their second defeat of the season at fellow title-challengers Bishop's Stortford. A single second-half sucker-punch decided an exciting game of high quality, committed football. Stortford showed their intention when an early corner was swung in accurately and headed powerfully just over the bar. The hosts looked dangerous again before Colts' central defensive pairing of Louis Townsend and Martyn Green combined to win the vital challenge and clear to safety. Colts then steadied the ship, and some intricate passing down the left between skipper Adam Sartini and Joe Dickens created an opening for Ellis King to test the keeper. Royston keeper Connor Long also commanded his area well, and after catching a long-range effort his clearance led to Colts' best chance of the half, releasing Dickens for some mazy wing-play that set up King for a curling shot just the wrong side of a post. The second period saw Stortford again starting brightly, carving an opening for a shot across the face of goal, and forcing a fine save from Long after a corner was only half-cleared. Colts soon warmed to their task, however, and with both teams serving up some exciting, skilful football it was Stortford who had to defend when Leighton enabled Dickens to put in a dangerous cross, the keeper just winning the race as Willis-Wright homed in. There was a hold-up in play before Willis-Wright left the field after a clash with the advancing Stortford keeper, but at the resumption Colts were caught cold by a swift Stortford attack, keeper Long doing well to get a hand on the free shot, only to see it creep inside a post and give the hosts the lead. Despite the setback Colts refused to capitulate and responded with a concerted spell of pressure right to the final whistle. Heslam saw a toe-poke roll straight to the keeper, then Leighton went on a weaving run through the Stortford defence but the ball was squeezed out for a corner. Further Colts pressure was met with composed defending as Stortford protected their lead. Colts: J Anderson, M Brennan, J Dickens, J Gourd, M Green, W Heslam, E King, J Leighton, C Long, A Sartini, L Townsend, K Willis-Wright. Bishop's Stortford U-14 3 Royston Celtic 1 LEAGUE leaders Stortford were given a stern test by Celtic in this cup match, on Sunday. The two sides were evenly matched but it was Stortford who took the lead after 20 minutes. Celtic responded seven minutes before the interval with a goal credited to Adam Greene, although Will Dickerson may have got the last touch. In a second half of few chances for either side it was Stortford who made the most of the limited opportunities, scoring after 20 and 28 minutes of the half. Celtic can take heart from this performance and should now look for a top-half finish in their first season in the top division. Stevenage Borough U-14 2 Royston Town Colts 0 TWO soft goals in the first half secured the points for the home side in Sunday's Division One clash. A strong Stevenage side applied pressure from the start and were rewarded after five minutes when the ball slipped under Colts' keeper Tom Monti and into the net. Royston managed isolated attacks between Stevenage onslaughts but they suffered from a tendency to give up possession easily and, at times, showed a reluctance to spread the ball wide. Stevenage soon doubled their lead when another shot somehow eluded Monti's grasp and rolled over the line. Colts showed good spirit after the break, refusing to buckle. Their defence battled hard and held an effective line, helped by a high-energy performance by Ricky Williams. But it was Monti who kept Colts in the match with a series of inspired saves as Stevenage went in pursuit of a third. At the other end, the nimbleness of Roger Skeggs troubled the Borough defence while Harry Noades, Dominic Oxenford and Williams all managed shots on goal, but it was not enough to haul back the deficit.