Town suffer in bruising battle

PUBLISHED: 11:01 12 January 2006 | UPDATED: 17:11 11 May 2010

Standon & Puckeridge Vets 2 Royston Town Vets 1 TOWN slumped to a disappointing defeat with an ineffective display against an uncompromising Standon side on Sunday. The visitors were missing the influential Brian Cannon, Kevin Barthrop, Darryl Quinn and

Standon & Puckeridge Vets 2 Royston Town Vets 1 TOWN slumped to a disappointing defeat with an ineffective display against an uncompromising Standon side on Sunday. The visitors were missing the influential Brian Cannon, Kevin Barthrop, Darryl Quinn and striker Paul Lewis yet were confident of repeating their 5-0 defeat of the home side before Christmas. With Mark Saggers probing from the back and Richard Harris and Wayne Hargreaves busy in midfield, Town started confidently with Simon Lewis and co striker Colin McArthur going close early on. From a succession of corners McArthur, Lewis and Harris all had headers going close. Royston could not sustain the early pressure and struggled to get their normal flowing game going. The home side's uncompromising style was not conducive to a free flowing game and Town showed great restraint in the face of a number of over enthusiastic challenges. Town got the wake up call they needed when Standon took the lead after 30 minutes as their defence stood flat-footed and motionless as an unmarked Standon midfielder rose and glanced home a free kick from the left, leaving Merv Chaffey with no chance. Ten minutes into the second half Town were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box, from yet another heavy challenge on McArthur. Quick thinking from Saggers saw a delightful left footed chip sail into the net, with the home side and keeper still arranging their defensive wall. Standon hit the winner 20 minutes from time, when the Town defence failed to clear a cross, which was rifled home from 20 yards, again giving Chaffey no chance. Town's frustrations started to boil over in the last quarter, playing less and less as a team and with the home side keen to emphasise their physical presence, tempers flared and both sides were lucky to finish the game with 11 men on the pitch. This was not a good start to the year and certainly not a good advert for Vets football. Town will be looking for a more spirited and effective team performance when they make the short trip to Ashwell Vets on Sunday. Royston Town Vets: M Chaffey, I King, I Allen, M Saggers, K Flack, W Hargreaves, M Jackson, R Harris, C McArthur, S Lewis, I Stubbs, P Flack. Tuddenham Rovers 7 Melbourn 1 ALTHOUGH a familiar scoreline, the result doesn't reflect how well Melbourn actually played in this very entertaining game, in fact this was one of their best displays of the season. Simon Hay, in his first appearance this term, and James Heslam played particularly well down Melbourn's right, Kris Watters and Russell Cooper worked hard up front, and Michael Wagstaff put in a captain's performance in the middle of the park. On a narrow and surprisingly playable pitch, both sides were able to pass the ball well and it was the visitors who had the first sight of goal, Hay and Alex Oram combining to set up Heslam but his drive was turned round the post. On 11 minutes, Tuddenham opened the scoring, the striker lifting the ball over the advancing Melbourn keeper, Chris Paxton, into the far corner. Melbourn's best chance of the half came on 25 minutes, Watters's strength and skill took him past three defenders, his pass found Cooper in the box whose acrobatic shot was brilliantly blocked by the 'keeper. Ten minutes later the hosts were denied a seemingly certain second goal by a fantastic, last ditch tackle by Ashley Cooper. Tuddenham scored two quality goals before the break, first a right foot volley into the top corner and then an unstoppable drive after Melbourn only partially cleared a corner. On 53 minutes, Wagstaff and substitute Glen Pearse exchanged passes before Wagstaff ran down on goal, chipped the 'keeper, who got a touch and the effort drifted agonisingly wide. From the resulting corner, Melbourn made it 3 - 1, Watters turning in Heslam's cross. Soon after, Heslam's quick free kick almost presented Russell Cooper with a chance but he was thwarted by a great tackle as he looked to pull the trigger. In the last 15 minutes, Rovers' supremacy showed through as they scored four more unanswered goals to inflict yet another heavy defeat. Melbourn: C Paxton, S Hay, A Cooper, (S Harper), R Cooper, S Hinchliffe, T Walker (G Pearse), J Heslam, S Carse, M Wagstaff, A Oram, K Watters

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