Crows look to the positives

PUBLISHED: 19:25 23 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:50 11 May 2010

CRAIG HAMMOND

CRAIG HAMMOND

ROYSTON Town kicked off their pre-season programme with a lone-goal defeat to Baldock on Tuesday night, but assistant manager Duncan Easley took plenty of positives. Overseeing managerial duties in Paul Attfield s absence, new assistant manager Easley us

ROYSTON Town kicked off their pre-season programme with a lone-goal defeat to Baldock on Tuesday night, but assistant manager Duncan Easley took plenty of positives.

Overseeing managerial duties in Paul Attfield's absence, new assistant manager Easley used the match at Knight's Templar Sports Centre to field several new faces, with former Buntingford Town youngsters Conor De Lacy and Tim Jarman, and defender Mark Debnam all catching the eye.

Former Town favourite Jez McMurrough also made a welcome return, and alongside Craig Hammond and Ryan Lockett, was Royston's main attacking threat. At the other end, captain Allan Reid was his usual combative self and enjoyed the tussle with Baldock's lively strike force.

A half-time deadlock was firmly in place, however it wasn't for the want of trying with Mark Saunders and Hammond both going close for The Crows.

An almost entirely new line-up emerged after the break with reserve players Dean Chaffey and Dave McMurrough joining new boys Ross Collins, Jan Stephens and Jordan McGarvey.

However, where Royston had dominated the majority of the play in the first half, it was the hosts and last season's Herts Senior County League champions who looked the more threatening.

And they were rewarded with a goal 15 minutes from time when Ross Haskins kept his cool to slot home Harry Holland's slalom run and parried strike.

Royston responded well and Dave McMurrough did have a goal ruled out for offside, however Baldock held firm and saw the game through.

Easley told The Crow: "It was a good run out for us, and I thought it was a good show of our fitness levels. The boys have worked extremely hard over the last few weeks and more than anything it showed that we were in good shape.

"It also proved a useful exercise in looking at five or six new players and I think they came in and did fairly well.

"The result wasn't too important, and to be honest I thought we were probably the better side. It would have been nice to have started pre-season with a win, but we can take a lot from the game. We created chances and looked controlled at the back, and on the whole it wasn't a bad performance."

Easley, a former Royston Town player, said that he was enjoying his new role at the club and looked forward to the season ahead.

"I was the club's coach last season, so this year I'm going to be getting more hands on and involved. I'm looking forward to it and I think it's a big year for the club. We've got to be looking at promotion, and with the squad we've got I can see no reason why we can't," said Easley.

With The Crows' South Midland Division One campaign starting in little more than two weeks, Royston still have seven pre-season games to play including a trip to Dunton tonight (Thursday), and a game at Met Police Bushey on Tuesday night.

Easley added: "We've got a lot of games coming up and the next few will give us more of a chance to look at some of the new guys and see what their capabilities are. Everyone starts with a clean slate, and everyone will get some playing time - they've all got to show what they can do.

"We've got a big squad, and I think they're looking forward to getting going again. Which is a good sign.

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