'Our target is still the league title' says skipper Scott Bridges
PUBLISHED: 09:51 07 January 2016 | UPDATED: 09:51 07 January 2016
David H Hatton, 2015
Scott Bridges says Royston Town have nothing to fear from their Southern League Division One Central promotion rivals and believes the league title is still an achievable objective this season.
The Crows lie three places and nine points off current leaders Chalfont St Peter with two games in hand on the Buckinghamshire side.
Royston’s 2016 is yet to get underway after Saturday’s trip to Ware was washed out but skipper Bridges feels that if Town can get a head of steam when the games come thick and fast, there’s no-one that can stop them.
Bridges told the Crow: “If you had said to us we’d be fourth in January and close to the leaders we would have taken that definitely. We’re relatively pleased with how it has gone so far.
“At the start of the season Steve [Castle - manager] sat us down and said he wanted us to win the league and said we were capable of doing so.
“A few results have let us down like not beating Northwood at home or giving away that three-goal lead twice at Kings Langley last month but I think those kind of experiences can only make you stronger.
“On the other side of the coin, we went to AFC Rushden & Diamonds [currently second] and beat them 4-1 and I don’t think many people expected that.
“We also put in a really solid performance against St Ives Town - who are also in and around the playoffs - on Boxing Day so we know we’ve got the team and on our day we’re the best team in this league.”
That feisty festive encounter was Bridges’ last for the majority of January after a dubious dismissal against Kings Langley meaning he is suspended for the next four games.
The midfielder has an unenviable disclipinary record this season, missing five games in August and early September due to a fracas during Royston’s play-off semi-final exit to Barton Rovers at Garden Walk back in May plus another three games for a further red card at Godalming Town in October.
Bridges is a definite miss for Town when he is absent, having notched eight goals in the 21 appearances he has been free to make this season but he feels his team-mates can cope just fine without him.
He said: “Losing your captain is a big loss for any team because it means someone else will have to step up but we have a great squad and I don’t think it will be an issue.
“The guys have shown they can win games without me this season so we will all just get on with it.”
On attempting to curb his run of suspensions, he added: “I sat down with Steve after my Kings Langley red and he gave me some advice to try and help me.
“We both agreed football is a different game now and if you go to ground you’re likely to receive at least a booking even if you get the ball. It takes some of the competitiveness away from matches but that’s just the way it is.
“A few people came up to me after the Langley game and said ‘I thought that red was really harsh’ so perhaps the referee sent me off because of my reputation instead of how bad the foul was.
“I am a passionate player and always want to win so I may go over the top sometimes but it’s never malicious. It’s just part of my game.”
Royston will hope to return to action this Saturday with a home league clash against struggling Aylesbury United.
The Ducks are perched precariously on the edge of the relegation zone, two points clear of second-bottom Leighton Town.
A victory could move Town back into the top three depending on Egham Town’s home tie with Ware.