Rocking Robins on song as Royston Town go second

Ryan Ingrey for Royston

Ryan Ingrey for Royston - Credit: Archant

Steve Castle’s men bounced back from two successive defeats to see off nine-man Bedford Town and move back into the Southern League Division One Central top two at Garden Walk on Tuesday night.

Luke Robins’ brace and another from recent recruit Erkan Okay sealed a much-needed win after last Saturday’s poor home loss to promotion rivals Aylesbury and the shabby showing at Cheshunt in the Herts Senior Cup eight days ago.

Five minutes in, Royston were one up as Okay supplied the arriving Robins who powered home left-footed beyond ex-Stevenage keeper Tyler Reading.

Midway through the first half it was two. Goalscorer Robins flicked on a good header and recipient Rhys Hoenes saw his own shot blocked well, but Okay was suitably alert to place a controlled finish low into the net.

That was how it stayed until the break as the Crows settled on their weighty advantage.

Content with the opening half, Castle kept his line-up intact as Royston went in search of more goals.

This constant pressure eventually paid off and on 56 minutes Hoenes intercepted a loose midfield pass and his defence-piercing ball was perfect for Robins who settled himself before firing home.

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Despite little chance of a comeback, Bedford did strike back through Mor Serigne Diop who hit an unstoppable, low drive past the diving Ron Yates.

A mighty goalmouth scramble ensued on 66 minutes as Royston again probed dangerously but somehow Bedford kept them out.

However, the Crows smelt blood and the game moved further into the hosts’ control as within moments, the surging Ryan Ingrey was taken out by onrushing keeper Reading as the striker broke through on his own and the guilty party was almost walking before the referee had produced the inevitable red card for the last man misdemeanour.

The resultant penalty, taken by Robins, was brilliantly saved by replacement stopper Maxime Fondop Siwe, who went on to make many saves in the last 20 minutes as the Crows exerted their dominance.

There was one final nail in the coffin for Bedford in added time as a further Eagles player saw red following a heated duo of tackles as Royston’s win was assured.