Hat-trick hero Russell boosts promotion bid

Royston 8 Winchmore Hill and Enfield 0 OWEN RUSSELL S hat-trick helped Royston to an easy victory. The home side put Enfield under pressure and Russell put them ahead. Nathan Sugden soon made it two, and Enfield s few forward moves were calmly dea

Royston 8 Winchmore Hill and Enfield 0

OWEN RUSSELL'S hat-trick helped Royston to an easy victory.

The home side put Enfield under pressure and Russell put them ahead.

Nathan Sugden soon made it two, and Enfield's few forward moves were calmly dealt with by the Royston defence.

Sugden then scored his second, and with James Yarrow and Dave Barker marshalling the back line, Dan Smith added another, after good work from Graham Mack.

Royston's fifth goal came just before half-time, when Russell chipped over the stranded keeper.

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Enfield gave the hosts a tougher test in the second-half, but Royston quickly added two more. The first came from Mack, from an excellent short corner, and Russell completed his hat-trick.

Royston began to take their foot off the pedal, but grabbed another, when Andy Drage set up Mack for his second of the game.

The win puts Royston only three points from a promotion spot, as their climb up the table continues.

West Herts III 6 Royston II 0

ROYSTON travelled to second placed West Herts expecting a hard game - and they certainly got one.

They conceded an unlucky early goal, when a ball that looked out of play was retrieved and a hesitant defence allowed the home side to finish easily.

Royston then struggled to come to terms with an excellent West Herts side and the home team deservedly extended their lead and reached half-time with a comfortable 3-0 advantage.

West Herts continued to play fast, fluent hockey in the second-half, and despite some good performances, especially from man-of-the-match Michael Hill, Royston were unable to prevent them from continuing to control the game and they ran out comfortable winners.

Broxbourne VII 2 Royston IV 4

ROYSTON dominated much of the first-half, and were deservedly in front at half-time with goals from Nick Broadley, Steve Welding, and Keith Markham.

Royston looked sharper and played with much more passion and energy than their opponents. The quality of their passing and movement was excellent.

But the second-half was a very different story, as Royston lost their shape, particularly in the midfield, and Broxbourne were able to put pressure on the visitors' defence.

This resulted in two well-taken goals, and but for a couple of fine saves from Robert Frost, it would have been more.

Royston rallied in the last quarter of the game. The restoration of Keith Markham to lead the attack and Perry Noble to right of midfield allowed them to re-establish control of the game and create a number of good chances.

Arnie Whittiker capped an excellent personal performance with a brilliant solo goal from the left wing.

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