Hammond double gives Crows hope
Royston Town 2 Haringey Borough 0 ROYSTON Town moved back above promotion rivals Haringey Borough on Tuesday night, as Craig Hammond enhanced his growing reputation with two more brilliant strikes. It was goal number 29 and 30 for the 21-year-old striker
Royston Town 2 Haringey Borough 0
ROYSTON Town moved back above promotion rivals Haringey Borough on Tuesday night, as Craig Hammond enhanced his growing reputation with two more brilliant strikes.
It was goal number 29 and 30 for the 21-year-old striker, as he underlined his status as the best finisher in the league with another master class in how to put the ball into the back of the net.
After a quiet first half, Hammond turned on the style with a dipping volley 25 seconds into the second half, before sealing The Crows' win with a coolly taken one-on-one.
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It was clear from the opening minute, that this was a game Hammond would enjoy as the Haringey defence was stretched all over the park.
And he almost opened his account after four minutes, when he met Carl Edwards' first time cross from the right with a powerful header at the back post.
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Playing as a lone striker, with Luke Robins and Tom Galvin supporting down the flanks and Edwards tucking in behind, the Royston attack unnerved Haringey at every opportunity.
And they were unfortunate not to go in front with Edwards' close range drive and David Cain's leaping header.
Galvin and the impressive Lewis Endacott tested Haringey keeper Daniel White with a couple of swerving free kicks, while Robins began to torment his marker down the left.
However, after weathering the Royston storm for most of the half, Haringey began to threaten with their pace, as the aptly named Karl Lewis and Ry Hardy saw the visitors end the half in a positive manner. crashed home his impressive opener with the Haringey defence seemingly still in the changing room.
They responded well though, as Royston inexplicably eased off the gas, with Haringey seeing a lively 15-minute spell, despite never really testing Jordan Gibson in The Crows' goal.
In fact, Gibson was imposing throughout, with cool authority in and around the box, excellent handling, and bravery off his line - little wonder why he is currently on trial with League One side Millwall.
And if Haringey were going to take anything from the game it would have been then, but The Crows gradually wrestled the game back in their favour with Hammond forcing a good save from White, before firing an audacious angled volley across the visitors' box.
Edwards should have scored when he shot straight at White from 10 yards, with Matt Turl also going close with a powerful header.
However, their patient play was rewarded when Edwards flicked the ball into Hammond's path, and with a free run on goal, the striker slipped the ball under the advancing White with 15 minutes to go.
The lead should have been increased with opportunities falling to both Edwards and Robins, while Hammond almost claimed his sixth hat-trick of the season, when he beat Kieran Donnelly in the Haringey box but shot tamely at White.
Royston manager Paul Attfield said: "It was a great performance and I really couldn't fault anything on the night. All round it was superb and a fantastic way to bounce back.
"We didn't stop working throughout, and Haringey just couldn't cope with our tempo.
"There were a lot of first class performances out there, and I thought Carl Edwards and Allan Reid had exceptional games.
"Jordan Gibson came in and did very well, and at only 16 he's got a bright future ahead of him.
"And Craig took his goals very well. The first was a very good finish and it came at a crucial stage of the game. It was a very pleasing win."
Royston Town: Gibson; Endacott, Babbage, Cain, Hollingsworth; Reid, M.Turl, Galvin, Robins; Edwards; Hammond. (Subs): Hardy, Townsend, Jackson.