Crows make it 10 wins in a row
Royston Town 3 Amersham Town 1 ROYSTON Town notched up their tenth league win in a row but were made to work hard for it on a bitterly cold afternoon at Garden Walk. Two strikes from captain Craig Hammond and a headed David Cain goal secured all three p
Royston Town 3 Amersham Town 1
ROYSTON Town notched up their tenth league win in a row but were made to work hard for it on a bitterly cold afternoon at Garden Walk.
Two strikes from captain Craig Hammond and a headed David Cain goal secured all three points against an Amersham team who were rolled over 7-0 on this ground last season.
Things began promisingly for the Crows when on just two minutes a Greg Jackson header was cleared off the line but the visitors were determined to put up more of a resistance than last year and for the first 20 minutes played with ten players behind the ball.
It didn't help that Royston's passing wasn't quite up to their recent exceptional standards, but they were still the better of the two teams and it was clear that once the first goal went in the home team would take all three points.
That first goal almost came on 24 minutes when a ball was hit over the Amersham back line for Tom Malins to run on to.
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Royston's best player on the day, Malins saw the keeper running towards him and lobbed the ball over the top only to watch it drift agonisingly wide of the right hand post.
Two minutes later Royston did go ahead in an almost identical situation, but this time it was goal machine Craig Hammond who was found chasing the long ball and the striker lobbed the keeper for his 19th league goal of the season.
There were few other chances in the half - except for an Amersham free kick hit just wide in injury time - but four minutes after the restart Royston were awarded a penalty.
Hammond received the ball on the edge of the box and flicked it into the path of Greg Jackson who ran into the box only to be chopped down by a karate kick-style challenge which Mr Miyagi would have been proud of.
The referee awarded the spot kick, but issued no cards, and Hammond stepped forward only to see his low hit palmed wide by Gary White in the Amersham goal.
For most of the second half Royston's attacking play was focused on the right where they used Malins' speed alongside that of impressive substitute Ricky Young, and it was a Young run into the box on 58 minutes which carved out another good Royston chance.
The goalkeeper was forced from his goal to make the save but the ball bounced awkwardly to Hammond just wide of the goal and his shot was cleared off the line.
The resulting corner was flicked on at the near post by Hammond but like his shot just seconds before, this too was cleared off the chalk.
There were then three goals in a 10 minute spell which effectively finished the game off.
Royston went 2-0 ahead when David Cain headed home a corner on 64 minutes, Amersham got one back when they scored on 70 minutes and then some great play down the right again by Malins and Young set up Hammond who slipped past his marker and hit the ball past White into the bottom left corner to make it 3-1 on 72 minutes.
The remaining 20 minutes fizzled out with very few chances and with rivals Kings Langley only managing a 1-1 draw away to Hoddesdon Town, Royston are now two points clear at the top of Division One with two games in hand.
Boss Paul Attfield said his team deserved the three points.
He said: "Amersham came here to defend and played a 4-5-1 formation in the first half with plenty of players behind the ball, and they were difficult to break down.
"In the second half they felt they could get something from the game and changed to a 4-3-3 but we were able to counter that, find the spaces in midfield and play through them.
"Our passing wasn't the best at times but that's when you compare it to our other games recently in which we've been tremendous. Looking at the game I believe the best team won.