Sugden nips in to grab late winner
TWO late goals saw Royston men snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, at Blueharts in the NE14 Hockey League 3SW. Royston struggled to find any rhythm for most of the first half, as the hosts pushed hard for an opener. And it eventually came after a sp
TWO late goals saw Royston men snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, at Blueharts in the NE14 Hockey League 3SW.
Royston struggled to find any rhythm for most of the first half, as the hosts pushed hard for an opener.
And it eventually came after a spell of sustained pressure on the Royston defence, and as a result a short corner was lifted into the top corner of the goal.
Royston did threaten with a couple of counter attacks, but some solid Harts defending meant that little came of them.
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However, with the home side on top, Royston showed why they have the best defensive record in the league, as they held firm, with in-form keeper Chris Markham particularly outstanding.
After a change of formation, Royston looked much stronger in the second half, with the game becoming more of an even battle as the visitors started to create a number of openings.
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And their breakthrough came when Dan Smith coolly slotted home a pass from Graham Mack.
The goal seemed to put a skip in the step of the Royston players, with James Yarrow linking well with the midfield and pushing out from defence.
And Royston's efforts were rewarded when Andy Drage's free hit found Nathan Sugden in the D, and the latter kept his composure to sweep home a late winner.
Royston fourths battled bravely in a game that was dominated by their opponents, but held on to claim a share of the points in a 0-0 draw with Harpenden.
Few chances fell Royston's way, and when they did the visitors found the Harpenden backline a tough barrier to break.
However, Royston were equally resilient, and kept a strong Harpenden attack in check, despite the odd scare or two.
Royston's man-of-the-match Mike Papworth had an exceptional game in midfield, with his intelligent defending and break up play proving a constant menace for the hosts.