Crows get pre-season off to winning start

Pre-season friendly

Standon & Puckeridge 1

Royston Town 2

ROYSTON Town continued their good start to pre-season with victory over Standon & Puckeridge on Saturday.

It was the Crows’ second win in less than 48 hours after winning 4-2 away at Takeley on Thursday evening.

Saturday’s match proved to be a decent workout for Paul Attfield’s team against their Herts County League opposition, who gave them a tough game in what were wet and windy conditions.

Attfield included a number of youth team players in his squad for the match but it was a more familiar first-team starting XI that took to the field at the start.

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Royston had much the better of the first half and scored their two goals in the opening nine minutes. Tom Malins headed in Ryan Lockett’s cross in the sixth minute and Rhys Lawrence doubled the advantage on three minutes later with a fine individual run and low shot from 25 yards.

Malins, Jack Bradshaw and Ryan Lockett all had chances to increase the lead while Standon & Puckeridge were unlucky to hit the post just before half time.

Many changes at half time didn’t affect the effort levels given by the players, but although Royston had much of the ball they just failed to make the right decisions in the final third of the pitch that meant clear-cut chances were at a premium.

The closest they came to adding to the lead was when Jason Beck’s fine overhead volley smashed the face of the crossbar before being cleared.

Puckeridge scored a deserved last-minute consolation with a close-range header but there was no lack of commitment missing from either side in this local derby friendly and both teams will consider it to have been a good workout.

Next up for Royston is a trip to Ridgeons Division One side Godmanchester Rovers on Saturday and with the two showings so far and a number of players still missing due to holidays and injuries, things are looking encouraging after the first fortnight of pre-season.