RoystonTown win promotion
Hoddesdon Town 1 Royston Town 4 ROYSTON Town will play Premier Division football next season after another comprehensive victory at the weekend. The Crows can still miss out on promotion, but to do so they will have to lose their five remaining games – th
Hoddesdon Town 1 Royston Town 4
ROYSTON Town will play Premier Division football next season after another comprehensive victory at the weekend.
The Crows can still miss out on promotion, but to do so they will have to lose their five remaining games - they have lost just three all season - and Hatfield Town will have to win all of their seven in hand and claw back a goal difference of more than 60 goals - and that just isn't going to happen.
A few weeks back striker Craig Hammond set his sights on 50 league goals this campaign, and he smashed through that total at the weekend when he made it 51 in 22 games with his ninth league hat trick of the season.
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Division One defences will be glad to see the back of the powerful striker come the end of the season, just as strike forces will be glad to see the back of the miserly Royston backline which conceded only its 27th goal in 35 games.
It was Hammond who opened on just 38 seconds against Hoddesdon when he side footed the back into the top corner from 12 yards following a Luke Robins' cross.
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Ryan Lockett and David Cain both missed chances to put the Crows further ahead and Paul Attfield's team were pegged back on 30 minutes when a Royston free kick was cleared into their half and Colin Metivier ran clear of the visitors' defence and slotted the ball past Ritchie Barlow.
The goal perked Royston into life and Tom Malins headed a Luke Robins' cross inches wide before Ryan Lockett put his team ahead on 43 minutes with a crisp 25 yard strike into the bottom corner.
The game was signed, sealed and delivered 90 seconds into the second half when Hammond again scored from 12 yards, and the hot shot completed his hat trick with 10 minutes remaining with a classy finish which saw him control a lofted ball in the area before chipping the ball over two committed defenders by passing the ball past the keeper's despairing dive.
Paul Attfield said: "I felt we gave an excellent second half performance but failed to build on our excellent start in the first.
"We looked a little leggy and complacent but we upped our game after the break and scored goals at important times, just before and after the break.
"We still have much to play for so complacency is not an option. Hopefully we can get the league tied up on Tuesday and concentrate on a number of cup games we still have active participation in."
Royston: Barlow, Endacott, Apostolos, Babbage, Cain, Welch, Edwards (De Lacy), Malins, Lockett (Turl), Hammond, Robins (Young). Subs: Gibson, Stephens.