Diamonds feeling rough
Royston & Diamonds 0 Littleport Rovers 2 DIAMONDS suffered a disappointing home defeat against strugglers Littleport Rovers on Sunday. The game had started well for Royston, and their back four looked resilient and easily soaked up the Littleport press
Royston & Diamonds 0 Littleport Rovers 2 DIAMONDS suffered a disappointing home defeat against strugglers Littleport Rovers on Sunday. The game had started well for Royston, and their back four looked resilient and easily soaked up the Littleport pressure. All was looking well for Royston when striker Mark Salmon found himself in space just six yards out, though at a stretch, and he was unable to control his shot and it flashed over the bar. Other chances were not taken as Royston continued to find themselves in space around the opponents' box. After heading in for half-time at 0-0 Royston felt sure they would break the deadlock soon. But it was Littleport who took the lead, when a speculative long-range shot fizzed into the top corner. If anything this spurred Royston on further and substitute Darryl Braid on the left wing provided new attacking options. But Royston's cutting edge in the final third was missing in this game, and though their tackling and defending was excellent, Royston struggled to turn possession into chances. To add insult to injury, Littleport stole a second goal in the dying minutes with a good finish from a tight angle. Frustrating though the result was, Royston can take confidence when they attempt an upset against league leaders Teversham on Sunday. Diamonds: J Leatherland, W Russell (M McGuigan), A Page, I Burt, Russell Doubleday, S Thorp (D Braid), C Fidler, J Mansfield (G Crane), E Beynon, M Salmon, A Holmes. Buntingford Town 5 Standon & Puckeridge 0 TOWN convincingly overcome their local rivals in the group stages of the Herts Floodlit Cup at Norton Road last Wednesday evening. Paul Attfield continued his policy of trying youngsters and reserve players for these games, and the visitors also put out mainly a reserve team. The game itself was quite an even affair, but on the night Town's superior sharpness in front of goal was the deciding factor, with some well-worked moves and finishes. The foundations were set in the first seven minutes with Town racing into a two-goal lead. After three minutes a fine chip from Mark Smith found Carl Smith in the box, and he neatly turned a defender before drifting a shot into the far right corner from 16 yards. Four minutes later youth player Sam Leader dispossessed a hesitant defender in the area and hit a sweet 12-yarder into the bottom left corner. The rest of the half was end-to-end without any eye-catching play, although Leader hit the bar after 25 minutes from close range from Tom Malins' right-wing cross. The second half started with the visitors dominating but struggling to create clear chances or hit the target and trouble keeper Luke Turner. Against the run of play Town scored a third after 67 minutes, when Tom Malins crossed for Leader to strike the underside of the bar but a back- tracking defender could only help apply the finishing touch. Attfield then changed the formation of his team to 3-5-2 and with some fresh legs coming on Town went on to dominate the remainder of the game. Goal of the game came with 15 minutes remaining when a neat passing move ended with Sam Leader cushioning a square pass for Barry Lynch to crack home a 20-yard shot into the top right corner. The scoring was completed late on when Ashley Townsend beat the offside trap, held off a defender, and placed the ball wide of the advancing keeper.