Hat-trick hero Russell leads Royston spree
Royston 7 Blueharts 1 ROYSTON went into Saturday s game with Blueharts with a depleted squad, as Dave Barker, James Yarrow, Nick Ross, and Dan Smith were all missing from the line-up. And having been forced to make eight positional changes, nervousness sp
ROYSTON went into Saturday's game with Blueharts with a depleted squad, as Dave Barker, James Yarrow, Nick Ross, and Dan Smith were all missing from the line-up.
And having been forced to make eight positional changes, nervousness spilled out on to the pitch in the early stages, with Royston trying to find their feet.
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However, Royston soon lifted their game and were in front following a short corner that was rattled home by Jerry Ross, before Owen Russell's deflected cross doubled their lead.
And as their confidence grew, the home side continued to control the match, with Ralph Louwers, Russell and Nick Hurd linking well.
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And it was Hurd who made it 3-0 when he pounced on a loose ball just before the interval.
Following the break, Harts came out hard and got a well-deserved consolation, taking advantage of Duncan Warner's defensive error.
For a short while the match swung in the visitors' favour, with Royston keeper Chris Markham being called on to make two outstanding saves.
However, any hopes of a Blueharts comeback were firmly extinguished once Louwers found Russell in space to strike home for a second time.
Royston dominated the remainder of the match, with captain Andy Drage making it 5-1 with a fine solo run, before Russell completed his hat-trick with another cool strike.
Royston's relentlessness never ceased and just before the final whistle Drage's powerful run picked out Louwers who slotted the ball past a stranded Blueharts keeper.