Hammond double moves Royston 11 points clear

PUBLISHED: 11:10 31 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:01 11 May 2010

Kings Langley 1 Royston Town 2 ROYSTON Town took an almighty step towards the Division One league title and promotion with a victory at second placed Kings Langley on Monday evening. It was a gutsy performance from Paul Attfield s men who were forced on t

Kings Langley 1 Royston Town 2

ROYSTON Town took an almighty step towards the Division One league title and promotion with a victory at second placed Kings Langley on Monday evening.

It was a gutsy performance from Paul Attfield's men who were forced on the back foot for much of the second half as the hosts drove forward, but it was that man Craig Hammond who popped up with the two vital goals to give the Crows all three points and send Royston 11 points clear of Langley at the top of the table.

Royston were without goalkeeper Jorden Gibson, winger Tom Malins and forward Ryan Lockett, but still started well and could have taken the lead after just a few seconds when a long David Cain ball eluded the back four and Hammond lobbed wide with the keeper in no man's land.

Langley, despite their technical ability on the ball, preferred the long ball approach for much of the half but created too few chances, and Royston punished them on 25 minutes when Ricky Young crossed for Hammond to head into the net from 10 yards.

The game remained scrappy for the next 20 minutes with neither team able to find a way through their opponent's back line, but at the beginning of the second period Langley came out firing on all cylinders and scored five minutes into the half when Jack Johnson latched onto a long diagonal ball to fire a 16-yard half volley over Richard Barlow and into the net.

The talking point of the game came with some 15 minutes remaining when the referee awarded Royston a penalty with what looked like a harsh handball decision against Mark Bircham, and the Langley was surprisingly dismissed for the offence which sparked off vigorous home protests.

After some time order was restored and Hammond stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way and put his team ahead once more.

Hammond, Young and Jackson all had chances to wrap the game up but all missed the target, and Royston were forced to endure a nervous five minutes of injury time but did enough to see the game out.

Paul Attfield said: "This is a massive win for lads and they way we had to defend as a unit against some serious pressure earned them the points."

Royston: Barlow, Endacott, Apostolos, Babbage, Cain, De Lacy (Jackson), Edwards (Welch), Young, Hammond, Turl, Robins (Morriss). Sub: Stephens.

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