Goals shared around at Garden Walk as Royston Town move back into top three

Ingrey for Royston

Ingrey for Royston - Credit: Archant

Steve Castle’s confident Crows began 2016 with an emphatic 4-1 Southern League Division One Central win over struggling Aylesbury United at Garden Walk on Saturday to remain hot on the heels of the leaders.

First-half strikes from Ryan Ingrey and Joe De La Salle gave the Crows breathing space at the break and a first three points of the new year were secured thanks to Jack Bradshaw’s spot-kick, following a trip on substitute Reece Dobson, and Luke Robins.

Town, without captain Scott Bridges who is serving a four-match suspension, took the lead in the seventh minute.

Picking up the ball with his back to goal, Ryan Towner executed a skilful spin and injection of two-yard pace to slip through a precise pass for the exuberant Ingrey to run onto and shoot low past keeper Zaki Oualah.

On 26 minutes, Royston doubled their lead with a brilliantly-worked corner routine.

Swift interplay between Danny May, Hoenes and Ingrey led to Hoenes crossing low and firm for De La Salle to get in front of his bamboozled marker and tap in at the front post.

It was more of a cancelling stalemate in the opening 20 minutes of the second period and Aylesbury were certainly more involved in forward movement.

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It meant Ron Yates would be busier and 10 minutes in, the custodian made a top-class save, diving full- length to his right to palm a powerfully struck Jack Wood free-kick round the post.

Bradshaw put a free-kick over the bar from a dangerous position as Town again maintained momentum and Hoenes was denied a cast-iron penalty when Oualah made a good stop from an effort from Ingrey and the ball fell centrally for the diminutive winger to followu up but he was clipped. However, referee Porter saw nothing untoward.

On 65 minutes, Yates made another match-clinching save as he reacted with swift reflexes to a volley from Nathan Tshikuna.

The Ducks’ defiance was deflated on 80 minutes when the hosts sealed the win with a penalty that this time was duly awarded.

Dobson – previously on for Rob Mason – was clumsily felled and skipper Bradshaw stepped up to power home from 12 yards.

To their credit Aylesbury, who are third bottom, got one back three minutes later as striker Tyrone Taylor headed in Wood’s cross.

Undeterred Royston got another goal in the 87th minute with Robins picking up a longer pass and challenging the last man, defender Alvin Rajaram, who looked to have done enough to thwart the fresh-legged attacker.

Nevertheless, Robins cleverly found enough space to place a decent lob over Oualah to make it 4-1.