Craig's treble chance

PUBLISHED: 13:34 14 February 2008 | UPDATED: 15:40 11 May 2010

PAUL ATTFIELD: “Goal 
difference could be vital.”

PAUL ATTFIELD: "Goal difference could be vital."

ROYSTON Town s in-form striker Craig Hammond has had to re-think his ­season s goal-scoring target after hitting his fifth hat-trick in nine games. The 20-year-old has also soared to the top of the South Midlands Division One goalscoring chart with his t

ROYSTON Town's in-form striker Craig Hammond has had to re-think his ­season's goal-scoring target after hitting his fifth hat-trick in nine games.

The 20-year-old has also soared to the top of the South Midlands Division One goalscoring chart with his treble against Winslow United taking his tally to 20.

When Hammond signed for Royston in December as the club's first paid transfer, he told The Crow how he aimed to repay the club's faith with 20 goals.

And having achieved that total in just nine games, the talented striker has now set a new 30-goal target.

He said: "I set myself a target of 20 goals and now I've done that I suppose I'll have to set a new one! Thirty goals would be a good target - it's one that I'd be confident of reaching.

"But the main thing is for the team to keep doing well, and we've had some very good results lately.

"The goals are just a personal bonus, although obviously a nice one.

"I didn't realise that I was the league's top scorer, so that's another nice bonus.

"I've got a lot of creativity around me, and players like Luke Robins are always going to create chances for us strikers."

The Crows are now the league's top-scoring side with 62 goals in 22 games, and boast the best goal difference of plus 30.

Hammond said: "There's quite a few of us doing well in front of goal this season, with Will Turl getting a few, and Graham Tibbals scoring when he's come in.

"And with the team looking at promotion, goals as well as clean sheets are going to be important if we are to go up.

"Personally I've just got to keep doing what I've been doing and scoring goals, because that's why the club signed me - and hopefully I'm repaying them."

Hammond's goals have been one of the main factors in ­Royston's rise up the table, with Paul Attfield's side now just four points off leaders Kentish Town with two games in hand.

And while remaining quietly optimistic on thoughts of promotion, Attfield was quick to point out Royston's superior goal difference.

He said: "That in itself could be vitally important come the end of the season. It's almost like an extra point.

"It was a difficult game on Saturday and we had to be a bit more direct than usual.

"But again we showed that we have the players who can make a difference.

"It was good to see Ashley Townsend score his first goal for the club, and it came at a vital time - it was a brilliant finish.

"As for Craig, to be honest I've run out of things to say about him!

"He had another great game, had four chances and scored three more goals.

"We all know that if he's given the chances then he's usually going to put them away."

A trip to mid-table Cheshunt Reserves is up next for Royston this Saturday, and if results go their way The Crows could find themselves a point off the top.

Hammond said: "Hopefully we can get another three points this weekend.

"On our day we are capable of beating anyone. It should be a good game and hopefully I can get a few more."

And playing against a side that has conceded 12 goals in their last five games, it would take a brave man to bet against Hammond edging closer to his 30-goal target come full time.

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