Crows get back to league action

ROYSTON TOWN get back to league action on Saturday when they take on lowly Harefield United at Garden Walk.

It will be a relief to manager Paul Attfield and his team having not played a league fixture for two weeks and have instead been filling their matchdays with friendlies against The Association FC and Standon & Puckeridge.

Last time out Royston suffered a 4-3 defeat at home to Holmer Green with Attfield citing bad defensive mistakes as the reason for the disappointing loss.

Before that, though, they had strung together four straight wins and three clean sheets so there’s no doubt the team were enjoying a good spell of confidence since the turn of the year.

Despite the two recent friendly matches being nothing more than just opportunities to maintain a decent level of match fitness, the Crows did win both of them convincingly, albeit against considerably inferior opposition.

But they will hope to take their form in front of goal into Saturday’s match as they have now dropped to fourth place in the league after being overtaken by the in-form Colney Heath.

When Royston met Harefield earlier on in the season it proved to be a bit of a walk in the park as they cruised to a 5-0 victory courtesy of a hat-trick from Ryan Lockett and strikes from Ross Collins and Tom Whittaker.

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Attfield will still be without the services of influential duo Martin Standen and club captain Ross Collins, though, as they serve the second of their respective three-match bans.

Standen, in particular, has been in very good form for the club since joining from Hatfield Town, and his absence in the middle of the park is one that Attfield could do without.

Attfield will also hope his defence can banish the errors that led to defeat against Holmer Green last time out and get back to their usual solid best. John McGrandles, who arrived at Garden Walk with Martin Standen, has looked very assured in the heart of the back four along fellow centre half David Cain.

Elswhere, it will be interesting to see who the manager decides to play up front against Harefield as George Brinkman was a surprise starter against Holmer Green. Brinkman had been finding first team starts hard to come by in recent months after having a decent start to the season but his goal a fortnight ago could have done enough to ensure he retains his starting place on Saturday.

Arguably one of the reasons Brinkman found himself on the bench for a number of games was due to the resurgence in form of Bobby Dance. The former Hitchin Town striker hit a purple patch after the New Year with six goals in three games after spending the majority of the campaign not fully fit so it will be intriguing to see who gets the nod up front this weekend.

Royston are currently 19 points behind leaders Chalfont St Peter with two games in hand. With such a gap it’s hard to see promotion being on the cards but all the players can do is just try to win each and every league game between now and the end of the season and hope Chalfont suffer the same fate as last year by stumbling before the final hurdle.