St Ives Town win perfect response to Kings Langley capitulation

Royston manager Steve Castle

Royston manager Steve Castle - Credit: Archant

Royston Town boss Steve Castle felt his side’s comprehensive 2-0 victory over promotion rivals St Ives Town at Garden Walk on Boxing Day was the perfect response to spectacularly dropping two points at Kings Langley in their previous Southern League Division One Central encounter.

The 10-man Crows twice led by three goals at Langley but ended up drawing 4-4 as they lost ground on the leaders.

However, in this festive clash, St Ives were second best throughout although the game eventually swung on referee Darin Geary’s decision to award an 80th-minute penalty and dismiss skipper Charlie De’Ath in the process.

The defender attempted to de-robe substitute Reece Dobson inside the box which earned him a yellow card and from a furious tirade at the decision, De’Ath received a second caution and, subsequently, his marching orders.

Up stepped Jack Bradshaw to draw first blood and in added time, away keeper Tim Trebes scuffed the ball to Erkan Okay 40 yards out and he chipped into an empty net to ensure a late Christmas present for Town.

Castle told the Crow: “We know we should have won at Kings Langley last week but we also know there are going to be blips along the way.

“Conceding four goals was disappointing, regardless of how well we went forward.

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“There was an element of misfortune about those goals, but four goals are four goals but the same back five, because you have to include the goalkeeper, really showed a desire to keep a clean sheet here.

“In terms of this game, that’s probably the best I have seen Joe De La Salle play for us this season and Daniel Brathwaite has been a colossus as well – and let’s not forget the two full-backs. The defence deserved the clean sheet and it’s a base for us to build on.”

Royston will be without captain Scott Bridges for their opening four matches of 2016 after the influential midfielder was red-carded at Langley and Castle is wary of the impact his absence may have on the team.

He continued: “Scott is a massive loss for us. We have lost a lot of games this year - I think it might be as many as five games - without him. He’s a massive part of this team.

“His sending-off at Kings Langley was firmly up for discussion because he couldn’t get his head around it but that’s gone now and we’ve bounced back and now we’re looking ahead.”