Lockett nets hat-trick as Crows run riot

Harefield United 0 Royston Town 0

THE combination of an accomplished Crows performance and the best playing surface in the league helped the visitors achieve what was a thoroughly deserved scoreline in west London on Saturday.

On the back of last Saturday’s disappointing defeat at home to Hanwell, manager Paul Attfield insisted his side put more into their game and they did just that with long spells of attractive football that Harefield had no answer to.

The Crows started well without threatening but gradually began to create openings with the Harefield ‘keeper diving full length to turn away Ryan Lockett’s 20-yard strike while Josh Bronti shot wide with only the ‘keeper to beat from the corner of the area.

The ‘keeper then did superbly well to block Tom Hayes’ volley from close range after a corner was not cleared before the breakthrough finally came in the 30th minute.

Tom Whitaker delivered a ball from the right and midfielder Ross Collins controlled at the far post and volleyed past the ‘keeper with his left foot.

Royston continued to press and extended their lead four minutes before half time.

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Lockett’s well delivered free-kick was met by Dean McElvoy and his flicked header was well saved but Whitaker followed up to convert from close range.

The Crows dominated far more in the second half with Harefield’s front players becoming more and more isolated as the hosts seemed more content on damage limitation than finding a way back into the match.

At times Royston never let them near the ball as they produced many fine attacking one and two-touch moves. Bronti, Lockett and Hayes should all have scored when clear on goal but were all let down with weak finishes before Lockett scored the first of his fine hat-trick in the 70th minute.

After receiving the ball from Josh Bronti the striker made some space for himself on the edge of the box before placing a shot inside the motionless ‘keeper’s post.

Bronti continued to threaten down the right hand side and he architected Lockett’s other two goals with crosses in the last five minutes of the game. The first was finished with a fine looping header from 10 yards before completing a comfortable afternoon with a neat finish from a similar distance.

Royston: Robinson, Whitaker, McElvoy, McDevitt, Cain, Collins (Lamacraft), Edwards, Bronti, Hayes (Dance), Lockett, Malins (Young).