Crows pitch in to keep up promotion hopes
Winslow United 1 Royston Town 5 ROYSTON Town maintained their push towards the top of the South Midlands Division One table and extended their unbeaten run to 13 league games. It was another emphatic victory for The Crows, who overcame a difficult pitch
Winslow United 1 Royston Town 5
ROYSTON Town maintained their push towards the top of the South Midlands Division One table and extended their unbeaten run to 13 league games.
It was another emphatic victory for The Crows, who overcame a difficult pitch and a physical side, with their promotion bid still firmly on track.
And with such momentum, the league's basement team never really stood a chance, although they did make life difficult for the visitors.
Boss Paul Attfield gave debuts to new teenage signings, goalkeeper Luke Howard and centre-back Matt Cook, who both made telling contributions despite the testing conditions.
And although the uneven surface made free-flowing football almost impossible, Craig Hammond soon had Royston on the road after seven minutes lofting the ball over a stranded Winslow keeper.
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Luke Robins then went close 16 minutes later when he raced clear only to see his shot sail inches wide.
The tricky winger then had a clear penalty waved away when he was upended in the box, with the crude tackle amazingly going unpunished.
Moments before half time, Hammond and Ashley Townsend also saw efforts go agonisingly close with Winslow offering little in the way of their own attacks.
So it came as a surprise when they drew level 20 seconds into the second half when Hill took advantage of Royston's daydreaming to fire an angled close range strike past Howard and into the far left corner.
However, the goal seemed to spur Royston on, and The Crows hit their opponents with a double blow in the 52nd and 53rd minutes, Townsend notching his first for the club with a great 25-yard lob, and Tom Malins making it 3-1 with an equally impressive strike.
The goals seemed to knock the wind out of the home side, as Royston turned the screw once morem with chances falling to both Malins and Hammond, who crashed one strike against the bar.
However, the powerful number nine made it 4-1 when he pounced on defensive hesitancy to fire home a fierce angled drive after 66 minutes, before adding his third and Royston's fifth nine minutes later with another confident finish.
Attfield said: "This was a very tough game for us, and at 1-1 we had to dig in and work for the three points.
"It was difficult considering the conditions, and I can honestly say that was the worst playing surface I have seen for many years.
"As a result we had to be a little more direct, and eventually our superior fitness levels took over - however, we showed strong character to carve out the win."
Royston Town: Howard; Endacott, Chappell, Cain, Cook; Reid, Edwards (Galvin), Malins, Robins (Nicholls); Hammond, Townsend (Tibbals).