Crows cruise to win over Harefield

Two goals from Bobby Dance and a single from debutant Rhys Lawrence give Royston all three points on Saturday

ROYSTON TOWN got back into the groove of league action with a 3-0 win over Harefield United on Saturday.

A double from striker Bobby Dance and another from debutant Rhys Lawrence were enough to see off the visitors on what was a fairly comfortable afternoon at Garden Walk.

Having completed just one competitive game in the previous 25 days there was little sign of rustiness and despite being without the services of Martin and Matt Standen, Ross Collins, Tom Whitaker, Tom Malins and Lewis Endacott through injury and suspension, the victory was fully merited.

Paul Attfield gave full competitive debuts to Rhys Lawrence on the left , the fourth acquisition from Hatfield Town in two months and right back Jack Bradshaw, most recently with St Neots Town and Maidenhead United.

Harefield clearly came with a clear plan to soak up pressure and play for a hopeful draw. Defending in vast numbers they packed the midfield allowing little time and space and with the heavy pitch making it tough to move the ball around it was a game of patience for the Royston team with the first goal always likely to prove vital.

That goal never materialised in the first period but not for the lack of effort. Much of the play was spent in the visiting half although chances were few and far between.

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Jack Bradshaw had the first early on when he ventured forward from full back and his well drilled effort from 18 yards flashed just wide. Moments later Bobby Dance fired over from 20 yards from a decent position.

The best chance fell to Ricky Young mid way through the half when he beat the offside trap and despite a well executed lob over the stranded ‘keeper the ball dropped onto the face of the crossbar with the ball eventually finding Ryan Lockett who fired wide from a good position.

Royston had a really good period just before half time with the ‘keeper saving well from Rhys Lawrence, a couple of crosses from the right flashing across the face of goal and right on half time an excellent cross from Danny Apostolos was weakly headed at the ‘keeper by Bobby Dance who was well positioned.

The same tone continued in the second half with a slight formation change. Full Back Bradshaw was given more license to push into a more attacking wing-back roll which looked to work well for the home side as the half progressed.

It took a moment of sheer brilliance from Bobby Dance 13 minutes into the second half to break the deadlock. After receiving the ball on the edge of the area he showed great ball control to wrong foot three defenders and send a crashing right foot drive past a well beaten ‘keeper.

Before Harefield could alter their formation they found themselves two down within two minutes. Lawrence’s well-weighted chipped ball found the well timed run of Ricky Young, who was crudely tripped from behind for a stonewall penalty. Dance stepped up to convert from the spot.

Harefield had to show more adventure in their play and looked better for it in the remaining 25 minutes. This created a more open game with both sides creating good chances to score. Another fine team move saw Dance with a good chance to complete a hat-trick but his angled drive was blocked by the ‘keeper’s legs.

Royston though always looked likely to add to their two goals and Lawrence completed the scoring with 12 minutes remaining when he weaved his way into the area , evading a couple of challenges before shooting wide of the ‘keeper.

Ashley Grinham then brought a stunning save out of the visiting ‘keeper when his scorching 25-yard drive flew through a crowd of players and was superbly tipped wide.

Royston Town: Howard, Bradshaw (Grinham), Apostolos, McGrandles, Cain, Lamacraft, Edwards, Young, Dance, Lockett (Bates), Lawrence.