Seven-goal thriller wraps up campaign
Royston III 4 Welwyn Garden City IV 3 ROYSTON are waiting on an East Hockey League management decision to determine whether they are promoted. An East Hockey League appeal meeting on April 26 will determine if Vauxhall will have three points removed for
Royston III 4
Welwyn Garden City IV 3
ROYSTON are waiting on an East Hockey League management decision to determine whether they are promoted.
An East Hockey League appeal meeting on April 26 will determine if Vauxhall will have three points removed for playing ineligible players two weeks ago.
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If they do, Royston will earn the three points and gain promotion along with Stevenage, and push Vauxhall back into third place.
Whatever the outcome Royston had a great fight with Welwyn on Saturday and with Welwyn losing their last game on Sunday to Blueharts by 2-1, it means Royston currently sit third in the table and will have to wait.
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Typically the game on Saturday started as so many have before, Royston pushing hard and not taking early changes then within 10 minutes found themselves one down because of sloppy defending.
So Josh Jamieson was subbed for 10 minutes and Paul Visagie came on at left midfield and immediately from a free hit deep in the Royston half Sam Polge was released up the right wing where he rounded the defender and shot under the advancing keeper.
Again Welwyn pushed and again Royston did not pick the loose player and conceded another soft goal.
With Simon Campbell taking a break in the intense heat, Visagie moved to the centre and Jamieson came back on again.
Royston quickly gained the equaliser with Colin Bateman picking up his 19th of the season after Michael Welding and Polge weaved passes between each other.
Vice-captain Colin Smith took a knock and switched with Campbell, Welwyn advanced down the left flank and as the player was fouled he shot and scored, beating keeper Gary Pinner but the umpire had already blown for the short corner which was not converted.
Welwyn came out and again had a goal disallowed for use of the foot.
Royston went straight up the other end and promptly scored as Campbell fed Visagie who drew the keeper and as a defender clattered him his pass reached Paul Bloomfield who calmly passed the ball into the open net.
Visagie then had to go off with a bruised hand.
The hosts switched to a straight flat back three and moved Mike Parsons from his role at right back to playing at the top of the midfield.
Royston pushed high to gain the killer goal which came shortly afterwards, as Parsons took a quick free hit to Bloomfield to flick his 25th of season and justifying his nomination as third team player of the season.
Royston began to tire and lost shape, and Welwyn could see that they must take their chances, with desperate tackling from Smith, Matt Brunt and captain Dan Taylor playing his last game of the season before moving home to Norfolk.
They conceded far too many penalty corners and it was inevitable that one would go in.
In goal Gary Pinner had been making great saves all game and having palmed the ball away from an initial Welwyn shot the ball dropped kindly for the attack and they slotted past a very tired looking defence and under the raised boot of Pinner.
This was just enough for Royston to push out and hold possession in the Welwyn half for a well-deserved 4-3 win and a great finish to a great team season.