Five-goal Redford on the rampage

HERTFORD TOWN 7 (R Redford 5, S Pearson, L Roberts) ROYSTON TOWN 1 (J McMurrough) A DISMAL first half performance saw the Crows crash to a heavy defeat at Hertford on Saturday. Phil Snowden s team let in five goals during the opening 45 minutes as they s


(R Redford 5, S Pearson, L Roberts)


(J McMurrough)

A DISMAL first half performance saw the Crows crash to a heavy defeat at Hertford on Saturday.

Phil Snowden's team let in five goals during the opening 45 minutes as they slumped to 18th in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division.

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Ryan Redford, once again, proved to be a thorn in the Crows' side as he netted a first half hat-trick and scored both of the hosts' goals after the break.

Although three half-time substitutions by Snowden steadied the visitors, the second half mini-revival seemed to owe more to Hertford being content to sit back and soak up the pressure, than any real recovery from the Crows.

The writing was on the wall for the Crows from the seventh minute when Scott Pearson missed an open goal after a mistake by Stuart Snowden.

And it was Pearson who opened the scoring four minutes later when Royston failed to clear a needless free-kick conceded by Pete Chappell, and he slotted home from 18 yards.

Redford made it 2-0 in the 16th minute when Snowden and keeper Chris Chambers both left the ball to each other to clear, and Redford nipped in to slot into an empty net.

Within a minute Redford had doubled his tally when he was left unmarked to nod home a left wing cross from six yards.

Dave McMurrough and Kojo Ofori both fired wide as the Crows did finally manage a short period of pressure.

But any hopes of a comeback were swiftly ended on the half-hour mark, when Lee Roberts floated in a cross from the Hertford left which eluded everyone and ended up in the top corner of the net.

Roberts caused the Crows problems down the left throughout the first half, and he set up the fifth with a cross for Redford.

Things could only get better for the visitors, and with Jez McMurrough, Adam Stokes and Adam Huckle replacing Carl Edwards, Jason Nash and Pete Chappell, the Crows did manage a better performance after the break.

The opening five minutes saw them put the home defence under pressure, but it was Hertford who added to the scoreline when a quick break from defence saw the ball fed to the mercurial Redford, who slipped it under Chambers to make it 6-0.

Jez McMurrough and Ofori both had chances to cut the deficit, before Redford completed his nap hand with 15 minutes remaining, when he latched on to a ball from midfield and sent a perfect lob over Chambers.

The Crows did manage the last word in injury time, though it was hardly a consolation, when the McMurrough brothers combined well with Dave crossing for Jez to lob past Mark Virgo. By then, however, it was far too little too late.

Royston: C Chambers, P Chappell (A Huckle), C Geldart, S Snowden, L Revell, J Nash (J McMurrough), K Ofori, C Edwards (A Stokes), E Kitenge, L Rogers, D McMurrough.

Royston Town Reserves 1 Croxley Guild 2

DESPITE not producing a performance on par with their recent showings, Royston pushed their higher league opposition right to the wire in an entertaining Herts Intermediate Cup tie.

Starting slightly the brighter, the home side appeared to be giving the visitors the run-around at the back, but failed in producing the telling last pass to get in on goal.

Against the run of play Croxley took the lead, when a fiercely taken free kick could only be parried, with the rebound tucked in from close range. Their second followed shortly after, when an almost free header was converted from a corner.

At the other end James Moule's shot from distance was saved almost unknowingly by the visiting keeper.

Russell Jones in the Royston goal had to be at his best to turn a deflected header around the post, for the first of a number of good saves.

The second period saw Royston attempt to get back into the game, and they were finally rewarded when Ryan Cannon squeezed a shot in from the edge of the box.

Now pushing forward, it opened up gaps at the back, and again Jones saved well , standing up to a breakaway visiting forward.

With time running down Croxley just managed to keep their lead, and progress to the next round.

Royston: R Jones, R Lowden, D Miles, A Stodhart, M Baker, B Bowles, B Jackson, R Cannon, K Butler, R Rollinson, S James, j McCormack, D Bird, J Moule.

Bury Rangers 3 Royston Town A 3

THE Crows dropped their first points of the season with a well below-par performance against a strong and determined Bury side.

Despite fielding the same side from the previous week, it was clear from the early stages of the game that too many Royston players were producing a lethargic display, and they found themselves 2-0 down after just 20 minutes.

Lee Bates restored some pride to his team with a well-taken goal,` and looked to have steadied the ship when he levelled matters 10 minutes before half time.

A needlessly conceded free kick was converted by Bury to put them back in front with several of the Town defence having gone AWOL to once again send the home side into the lead.

Once again Bates restored some honour to his side's lacklustre performance with a cool finish to drag his team level.