Royston survive late scare to beat Stratford and keep pace with promotion-chasing pack

Royston Town's Claudio Ofosu. Picture: David Hatton

Royston Town's Claudio Ofosu. Picture: David Hatton - Credit: Archant

Royston Town survived a late scare to beat Stratford Town 3-2 in the Southern League Central Premier Division on Tuesday night at Garden Walk.

Knowing they needed a win to keep pace with the sides chasing a play-off place, the Crows got off to a fast start and nearly took the lead when Brandon Adams saw his header well saved.

The away side had their chances as well, with Royston goalkeeper Joe Welch forced into two fine stops in the opening 25 minutes.

Steve Castle's side took the lead on 36 minutes though, as Adam Watkins' surging run saw him lay the ball the off to Claudio Ofosu, who sturck a first-time finish into the net.

It could have been two just four minutes later when a goal mouth scramble ended with Harold Joseph's shot being smothered by the Stratford goalkeeper.

They did double their lead just five minutes into the second-half, as Watkins' low shot from range went through a crowd and into the net.

Royston were now well in control, but Stratford were given a lifeline with 15 minutes to play as Kyle Rowley pulled one back.

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The next goal was crucial and would decide the outcome of the game, and it was the Crows who got it when Callum Taylor's corner was turned into his own net by a Stratford.

The visitors weren't giving up though and made it 3-2 with 86 minutes on the clock as an unchallegend Rowley headed home inside the area.

Castle's men held on for the all-important three points though, moving them up to ninth, just two points off the play-offs with two games in hand.

The Crows are also in good form with the key Christmas period just round the corner, having lost just one of their last nine games.

They will be hoping to continue that good form at Bromsgrove Sporting on Saturday, knowing a win would open up a gap between the sides below them.