Royston Town begin New Year with comfortable victory
A superb second half performance by the Crows saw them defeat Barton Rovers 3-0 and continue the march towards a second successive promotion, writes David Baulk.
A scrappy opening 45 minutes saw both sides try to find the breakthrough, but an opening just could not be found.
On six minutes, excellent interplay between Tom Malins and Kaan Fehmi saw a shot from the Royston player saved expertly by Richard Wilmot in the Rovers goal. Two minutes later saw a dazzling run from Luke Robins but his resultant shot fizzed past the right hand upright.
The pressure was on Barton and on 12 minutes the impressive Malins beat four players before finding the unmarked Carl Edwards whose shot was blocked.
Barton launched an immediate counterattack with former Crow Bobby Dance leading the charge.
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A resultant free-kick was swept in by Andre Maltay but retrieved superbly by Luke Howard, however his resultant kick bounced off Jermaine Hall to allow the Barton striker a chance on goal only for him to hammer it wide.
The pattern of the game followed with Royston giving away silly free kicks and Barton failing to take advantage.
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As the clock hit the half hour mark Johnny McNamara burst through the Crows midfield and as he reached the area, fell theatrically with Barton appealing for a penalty. They got a corner, and Tommy Hull headed over.
Royston signalled their intent from the second half kick off with Ingrey twice going wide within four minutes and Fehmi striking the post.
Barton had no response to the overlap skill of Royston and only Hoenes and McNamara showed any creativity for the away side.
With Royston pressing forward and using their wing play to maximum effect, on 64 minutes Lee Wilson scampered down the left, created his own space and with pin point accuracy found the unmarked Malins who coolly headed home to wild celebration from the home fans.
Shortly afterwards Ryan Lockett replaced Robins and he was instrumental in the Crows’ second. After some clever movement his delivery found Malins and his deflected cross gave the Crows another corner. From this set piece Ryan Ingrey struck home with most of his body still on the floor.
Rovers’ attack did not offer much until the 87th minute when pinball in the Royston defence caused panic with Howard blocking a shot and the resulting rebound was cleared off the line by Sam Spencer.
As the game petered out with Royston in the ascendancy, Ross Collins burst into the Barton area and was fouled by Paul Andrews. Jack Bradshaw stepped up to take the penalty and slammed it home for 3-0.