Late surge sinks Colney Heath

Four goals in final 20 minutes extends Crows’ lead to 11 points

Royston Town 4

Colney Heath 0

SSMFL Premier Division

FOUR goals in the last 20 minutes secured Royston’s seventh straight league victory on Saturday as they eventually overcame Colney Heath at Garden Walk.

It proved to be a good weekend all round for the Crows, as their nearest promotion rivals Dunstable Town lost to AFC Dunstable, meaning Royston’s lead at the top of the table extends to 11 points.

Tom Malins, Matt Standen, Ryan Lockett and Luke Robins were the goalscorers for Paul Attfield’s team, and despite the comfortable-looking scoreline, the match was not as straightforward.

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In fact the visitors were arguably the better team in the first half, using the wind behind them to pressurise the Crows all over the pitch. This enabled them to release their lively forwards, and in particular Ian Cooper, who caused problems playing on the last man. Royston’s cause was not helped by the loss of Jack Bradshaw from defence within the first 15 minutes due to a leg injury.

While the visitors controlled territory in the fast half there were only a handful of chances. Cooper was twice denied by Royston goalkeeper Will Norris who produced two excellent flying saves to ensure the visitors didn’t take the lead.

At the other end Royston were mostly cancelled out by good defending and a packed midfield but they also created two very good chances, both falling to Matt Standen, but the score remained goalless.

Colney had the last chance of the half when Cooper reacted to a weak back-pass but his first touch let him down and Norris pounced on the loose ball.

Royston gradually improved in the second half while Colney’s attacking threat receded as the game wore on. One early chance fell to prolific striker Kaan Fehmi when he raced onto Ricky Young’s angled ball but he surprisingly shot wide from two yards with only the ‘keeper to beat. The same player also hit a scorching 25-yard free kick past the wall but the ‘keeper was well positioned to catch the ball.

As the half went on it seemed that one goal would probably be enough and with 20 minutes remaining another free-kick for the Crows led them taking the lead. Ashley Grinham hit the set-piece goalwards with the ball ricocheting off Martin Standen before Tom Malins rifled home from 10 yards.

Coley gave another quick surge of pressure and a half-cleared cross fell invitingly to a midfielder 12 yards out but the opportunity was spurned.

This proved to be Colney’s last positive attack as the introduction of Lockett and Robins swung the game completely in the hosts’ favour. With eight minutes remaining Lockett raced onto Norris’s huge clearance and while his chip over the ‘keeper came back into play off the post, Matt Standen converted from eight yards.

Robins was then twice unlucky to hit the outside of the post with two 10-yard efforts before Royston struck twice in injury time.

Firstly, Carl Edwards crossed for Lockett to bundle home from close range before Robins followed up his own well-saved effort to notch the fourth and final goal.

Royston Town: Norris, Endacott, Bradshaw (Grinham), McGrandles, Beck, Martin Standen, Edwards, Malins, Kaan Fehmi (Lockett), Matt Standen, Young (Robins).