Players need to refocus says Royston boss Castle

PUBLISHED: 10:28 02 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:28 02 February 2017

Scott Bridges looks to shrug off a Chalfont St Peter opponent Picture: David Hatton

Scott Bridges looks to shrug off a Chalfont St Peter opponent Picture: David Hatton

David H Hatton, 2015

Steve Castle has refocussed his Royston Town squad by telling them their main objective is staying in the team and not the Southern League Division One Central title.

The table-topping Crows have had a phenomenal league season to date, winning 21 of their 27 games, with the most recent of those triumphs, 5-2 at home to Uxbridge, coming on Saturday.

Matt Nolan’s brace, skipper Scott Bridges’ 17th goal of the season and further strikes from Daniel Braithwaite and substitute Rod Orlando-Young kept Royston eight points clear of second-placed Farnborough with a game in hand.

While things look good for the Garden Walk side at present, manager Castle knows complacency could cost his side dear come the end of the season.

Castle said: “We need to refocus, take one game at a time and forget about the bigger picture of the title.

“We need to look at the three points, week in week out.

“It’s not an easy thing to do but as I said to the players their main challenge is to stay in the starting 11.

“Our squad is strong and I will be looking to keep everyone at the top level to achieve what we want.”

Town seized the initiative early on Saturday with the alert Nolan showing true poacher instincts to punish two defensive slips.

Firstly, on four minutes, he followed up a keeper spill to strike home.

Eight minutes later a speculative lobbed effort was put up by Kaan Fehmi and under pressure, and possibly impeded, the Uxbridge keeper again lost control and Nolan was there to nod in.

Uxbridge got a life-line on 36 minutes as the away side got a corner from a rare attack and the ball was sent over low only for Stuart Bridges to slice his clearance goalward, looping high and imperfectly over the flailing and stranded Joe Welch.

This game was all but settled on 50 minutes with a moment of pure class.

The hard-working Nolan was bundled to the ground outside the box and the 20 yard free-kick was lined up by Scott Bridges.

The deadball strike from the Royston skipper was close to perfection as it sped by the admiring keeper high into his left-hand corner.

It was all Royston pressure and this was rewarded with two more goals.

A fine free-kick in by Orlando-Young was met firmly by powerhouse Adam Murray but his headed effort was well-saved only to fall to Brathwaite who had a simple tap-in.

Then on 80 minutes a recycled short corner routine was eventually driven in low by Mentis and Orlando-Young executed an audacious flick that wrong-footed everyone and settled low in the Uxbridge net.

The visitors scored a consolation second from Matthew Woods on 91 minutes but this result was beyond doubt.

Royston travel to Barton Rovers on Saturday looking for their 18th win in 20 games and also revenge for a heavy defeat earlier in the season.

Rovers claimed a superb 6-3 victory at Garden Walk in September.

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