From ‘sublime to ridiculous’ in Barton Rovers loss baffles Crows boss Steve Castle

Royston manager Steve Castle

Royston manager Steve Castle - Credit: Archant

Steve Castle says his Royston Town side went from the ‘sublime to the ridiculous’ on Tuesday night as they were battered 6-3 by a buoyant Barton Rovers in Southern League Division One Central at Garden Walk.

Three days prior to Rovers’ visit, Town had efficiently brushed aside Uxbridge on the road 2-0 but came unstuck in midweek in a performance that the Crows boss said ‘drove him mad’.

Royston found themselves 3-0 behind inside 12 minutes and despite hitting back through Jack Bradshaw and Adam Murray’s header, they trailed 4-2 at half-time.

The flood of goals slightly subsided in the second period but the hosts were down and out by the time skipper Scott Bridges netted the ninth and final goal two minutes from the end of an action-packed evening.

Castle went on to pinpoint games against Heybridge Swifts – a 4-1 home FA Cup defeat, a 4-1 league loss at Hanwell Town and the Rovers rout as the blueprint for how not to perform and has been surprised by his team’s involuntary performances having only conceded two other goals beyond that this season.

Manager Castle told the Crow: “I didn’t see it coming [Barton loss].

“The inconsistency of this team is driving me mad.

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“A lovely solid performance over at Uxbridge, two bits of skill, clean sheet and then we shoot ourselves in the foot and the reaction from some was very disappointing.

“We had near enough the same selection as on Saturday.

“I took Kaan Fehmi out because two games a week is a bit much for him and Ryan Ingrey was injured so Simon Thomas and Ryan Towner came into a lop-sided 4-4-2.

“You can’t give teams as many free chances as that and expect to win a game of football.

“They gave goals away and then reacted like they’d just lost a million pounds. They couldn’t get the disappointment out of their heads.

“We got ourselves to 3-2 and there was a little bit more of a spark but it’s extremely disappointing.

“We’ve been solid without being too cavalier and forthright with our moves up front in most games but then it goes from that to the other way.

“Without the Heybridge loss, Hanwell and tonight we’ve only let in two more goals.

“It goes from the sublime to the ridiculous.”

Town now have two successive home league games, against Marlow and Egham Town respectively, as well as a Southern League Cup tie against Hitchin Town at Garden Walk to get their heads around.

They sit four points off the league summit having played a game more than pacesetting Farnborough so the manager wants a reaction, and quick.

He continued: “The lads that weren’t involved can get themselves fit and we’ll go again.

“Apologies to the fans, the board. We’ve got to move on from it now.

“It’s a long season and we’re still in and around [the top of the table] but those kind of performances can’t be tolerated.”