Welding on form

PUBLISHED: 11:35 20 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:59 11 May 2010

Welwyn Garden City 1 Royston 3 A MIKE Welding brace helped Royston maintain their impressive league position by defeating an improved and in-form Welwyn side. But it wasn't all easy going - despite beginning the match strongly the Crows fell behind early

Welwyn Garden City 1 Royston 3

A MIKE Welding brace helped Royston maintain their impressive league position by defeating an improved and in-form Welwyn side.

But it wasn't all easy going - despite beginning the match strongly the Crows fell behind early on when a poorly taken free hit was intercepted and expertly finished by the Welwyn forward.

The away side maintained the upper hand, and created numerous opportunities to equalise but Owen Russell, Graham Mack and Welding each narrowly missed out, along with Nick Hurd who twice fired over the hosts cross bar.

Welwyn held a threat of their own, often looking to win short corners from driven balls into Royston's D, but they were unable to add to their first goal and the Crows finally drew back level when Welding found himself unmarked on the back post following an impressive counter-attacking move down the right.

The match soon became and remained an aggressive encounter, but Royston took the lead with another attack up the right which saw Sam Polge set up Welding to complete his brace.

The second half saw Welwyn hold longer spells of possession and threaten via short corners, but they were also made to work defensively and their keeper Chris Markham made some fine saves, in particular one low to his right which he guided around the post.

Royston created further chances to clinch the match but failed to take them, and the match slowly ascended into a frantic midfield battle which saw Nick Ross receive a green card for some over zealous tackling, but Russell managed to put the icing on the cake for the Crows with a driven shot past Welwyn's keeper to finish the scoring.

Blueharts V 1 Royston II 7

A FIVE-star performance from Nick Freeman was the highlight of Royston seconds' comprehensive victory over Blueharts.

The Royston player put in a scintillating performance as the visitors shocked their hosts with some exceptional build up play from the start of the match and they constantly probed the Blueharts D with crosses and half chances.

Freeman broke the deadlock after five minutes of constant pressure with the first of the game, and he quickly made it two with an audacious deflection past the floundering keeper off a cross from right wing Simmons.

Nick Broadley made it three from a followed up short corner and Chris Watson buried the match with a comfortable slap home - all four goals coming in a 15 minute floury that had Blueharts scratching their heads.

The second half saw more of the same from Royston, with Freeman once again the man to benefit as he smashed home his third but the Blueharts were able to score a consolation following a misunderstanding in the Royston defence.

The Crows tightened up again and Perry Noble made some good runs down the right wing, one of which opened the door for Freeman to smash the ball home.

And the star man's fifth, and probably his best, goal was created from a quick ball from midfield with Jacobs drawing the defence away for Freeman to beat one play before launching the ball into the roof of the net.

Captain Matt Allsopp said of the match: "It was great seeing us so dominant again, this will have given us a massive boost in confidence.

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