Royston Town surge back into Southern League Division One Central play-offs with easy Ware win

Ryan Ingrey

Ryan Ingrey - Credit: Archant

Former St Albans City striker Simon Thomas struck on his first start for his new club as Royston Town leapt back into the Southern League Division One Central play-offs with an emphatic 4-1 victory at 10-man Ware.

Steve Castle’s men were never troubled by their mid-table opponents at Wodson Park despite going a goal behind inside eight minutes.

Murat Karagul looked to be attempting a cross but his ball swung viciously into the top right-hand corner of Ron Yates’ net.

That goal only served as a Crows wake-up call with the visitors levelling from the penalty spot eight minutes later.

Rhys Hoenes left Ben Crilley for dead and was chopped down as he tried to cut back inside. Jack Bradshaw did the rest from 12 yards.

Seven minutes before the interval, the exact scenario played out in front of the shivering crowd.

Hoenes was bundled over inside the box, this time by Josh Oyibo, and Bradshaw picked the opposite corner of the goal to ram home another penalty, his third straight success from the spot in two games.

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It could have been three shortly after as Thomas slid in on wandering keeper Tom Coulton on the right side of the area. However, the loose ball could not be diverted into the gaping net.

Seven minutes later it was three though. The ball fell kindly to Thomas 15 yards out and he swept it goalwards. Two deflections later it nestled in the net. Nevertheless, a first goal for the new man and a comfortable 3-1 half-time scoreline for Royston.

Ware came out after the break with little more motivation than they had showed in the first and the impressive Ryan Ingrey wrapped up the points with a simple side-foot just past the hour.

Royston sat back on their advantage, handing a debut to ex-Bedford Town man Tommy Hull, and, after Oyibo had been given his marching orders for a second bookable offence in the final 10 minutes, they should have had five in added-time.

This time Ryan Hervel clumsily slid on the rapid Hoenes again.

The felled front man’s resulting spot-kick lacked the conviction of Bradshaw’s earlier efforts though and was easily saved by keeper Coulton.

The Garden Walk side, now just five points off the summit with a game in hand, visit play-off rivals Northwood on Saturday.