Crows hit six past Harefield

Royston victorious on return to league action

Harefield United 1

Royston Town 6

SSMFL Premier Division

ROYSTON TOWN made an emphatic return to league action on Saturday with a comprehensive victory away at Harefield.

It had been a fortnight since the Crows last played a league fixture, but Paul Attfield’s team showed their FA Vase exit at Bournemouth last weekend didn’t knock them out of their stride when it comes to the all-important task of winning promotion this season.

Harefield took an early lead through Jack Reader but a brace from striker Kaan Fehmi, along with further goals from Matt Standen, Luke Robins, Lewis Endacott and Tommy Malins ensured the six-goal haul – the third time they have done so this term. Harefield had a man sent off just before half time which didn’t help their cause, and Attfield’s side were ruthless in their dismantlement of the hosts after the break. The win ensures their lead at the top is four points over both the Dunstable teams, although Royston have a game in hand over their rivals.

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Out of nothing the Hares took a ninth-minute minute lead with their first venture forward. Royston lost possession from their own throw on halfway with a central midfielder chipping the ball over a square back-line with Reader racing onto the ball and firing confidently past Will Norris. This fired up the hosts who worked hard to rebuff any visiting threat although it was Royston who equalised midway through the half when a good move down the right involving Fehmi, Ryan Lockett and Joe Clemo set up a 25-yard chance for Carl Edwards whose goal-bound shot was deflected into the net by Matt Standen.

The Crows continued to probe without being spectacular but got their break just before the interval when Lockett’s corner was diverted towards goal by Jason Beck and although the ‘keeper was beaten the full-back handled on the line before being shown a straight red card. Kaan Fehmi converted the spot-kick to give his side the momentum going into the second half.

Within the first 10 minutes of the half Beck, Lockett and Ross Collins had all fired inches wide of the target before the crucial third goal arrived on 57 minutes. Kaan Fehmi was fouled on the edge of the left corner of the area and picked himself up to fire an unstoppable free-kick past the ‘keeper and into the far corner.

Within the next five minutes Royston had added two more goals as they threatened to run riot. The first was a real contender for goal of the season as Fehmi’s run and cross was superbly volleyed into the top corner by Robins from 16 yards and from Royston’s next attack they won a corner which was floated to the far post where full-back Lewis Endacott had time to control and riffle a 10-yard angled drive high into the net.

Paul Attfield then made three changes with Malins, Young and Martin Standen entering the fray but within seconds Kann Fehmi picked up a knee injury so the Crows were forced to play the remaining 20 minutes with 10 men also.

This hardly affected Royston’s continued dominance and the home ‘keeper pulled off stunning saves to deny Martin Standen and Collins as well as tipping over a close-range header from Lockett.

The final goal came in stoppage time when Martin Standen made a well-timed run down the right and sent over a superb cross to the far post with Tom Malins, not needing to break stride, thumping in a 12-yard volley underneath the ‘keeper.

Royston Town: Norris, Clemo, Endacott, McGrandles, Beck, Collins, Edwards (Martin Standen), K Fehmi, Matt Standen (Young), Lockett, Robins (Malins).