Royston Town set for five season defining matches in play-off hunt

Hat-trick hero Adam Marriott in action for the Crows. Credit David Hatton

Hat-trick hero Adam Marriott in action for the Crows. Credit David Hatton - Credit: Archant

Royston Town bounced back with a 2-1 win over St Neots Town last Tuesday, setting themselves up for five critical Evo-Stik Southern Premier League matches.

The Crows came into their crunch run of crucial matches unbeaten in seven of their previous nine games, scoring 20 and conceding three.

They are to set to face promotion chasing Weymouth and league leaders Kettering Town home and away, either side of a visit to play-off outside bet Frome Town.

Speaking to CrowSport, boss Steve Castle said: “Sometimes you struggle to find things to say in the dressing room but I won’t have to say much to the players because they know we need to win these games.

“We’ve got to keep everybody fit and do ourselves justice. We’ve seen enough of the league now and when we’re on form we’ll compete against most teams.”

Castle said his side were hungry for an upset against Kettering and Weymouth, and that his newly promoted side, playing the club’s first ever season at step three, will ‘remember where we’ve come from.’

On Saturday the Crows host league leaders Kettering, who’ve scored 70 goals so far this season, the most in the league. However their seven draws and four losses suggests they’re prone to a slip up.

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Castle said: “We’re underdogs but it’s a must not lose. Kettering have got the odd loss in them and they’re not completely unbeatable.

“They’re are a very big club and they’re used to being in the national league.

“We’ll have to be at our very best, we’re looking forward to it and it would be great to have the most support as possible at Garden Walk.”

Kettering have the highest points tally at home out of every team in the top seven tiers of English football, 35. More than both Manchester City and Luton Town. When they travel to Latimer Park 10 days after the fixture at Garden Walk, Royston will be faced with a tough test.

The Crows bounced back from their win-streak ending 2-0 loss to Chesham United, beating St Neots Town 2-1 last Tuesday at Garden Walk.

Goals from John Frendo and Lee Chappell came in a dominant first half from the Crows, who took their foot off the gas in the second half and allowed Lewis Irwin to keep the game a contest after 75 minutes, but it wasn’t enough to deprive the Crows of three points.

On Saturday the Crow’s game against St Ives Town was postponed due to a waterlogged Garden Walk.

Castle said: “It would have been nice to play and build our form further but we had some ill and injured players so they were given some extra time.

“There’s an argument whether it would have been better for us to play and carry our form or to let people get fitter and get well.”

Only Slough Town and Hereford have played less games in the league this season than the Crows, so a play-off spot is on the cards, however Weymouth and Kettering are two games that Royston must get points from to bring them into contention.