What the Dickens!
Royston Town Colts U-11 3 Austen Arrowheads 0 A FIRST-HALF hat-trick from Joe Dickens saw Colts take the Crow League points on Sunday. With the wind at their backs Colts were soon pressing forward, and when Louis Townsend found Kieran Willis-Wright in sp
Royston Town Colts U-11 3 Austen Arrowheads 0 A FIRST-HALF hat-trick from Joe Dickens saw Colts take the Crow League points on Sunday. With the wind at their backs Colts were soon pressing forward, and when Louis Townsend found Kieran Willis-Wright in space, the winger fed Ellis King for an early attempt that flew wide. Matt Brennan was next to combine with King, this time making a chance for Dickens that was saved point blank at the near post. Play briefly switched to the Colts end, when keeper Jamie Seabrook raced out to clear, but the hosts were soon back on the attack to force a corner on the right. The resulting clearance was returned by Jack Anderson with a wicked deflection that brought a fine reaction save from the Arrows keeper, only for the ball to drop to Dickens to finish from close in and put Colts in front. Colts' pressure began to tell, and they deservedly scored again when King threaded a well-weighted pass for Dickens to run in on goal, the Colts attacker holding off several defenders before netting confidently to double his tally. The game had hardly restarted before the shell-shocked Arrows defence were again under pressure, this time Willis-Wright feeding Dickens, who grabbed his hat-trick with a high lob over the keeper before running in to flick home at the near post. The second period saw Colts playing into the wind, but it did not prevent King taking the initiative with a solo run culminating in a shot through a crowded area. Arrows responded by exploiting the conditions with high balls forward, and Colts keeper Seabrook showed confidence in catching a dangerous lob under pressure. The hosts were temporarily on the back foot as they struggled with the bouncing ball, and had Sartini to thank when the Colts skipper showed great presence of mind to get across for a saving tackle with the last man beaten. Arrows mounted a late rally, creating a fine chance that was blazed over with the goal beckoning, and hitting the bar with a lob from distance, but Colts' first-half strikes proved decisive. Colts: J Anderson, M Brennan, J Dickens, M Green, W Heslam, E King, C Lamont, J Leighton, C Long, A Sartini, J Seabrook, L Townsend, K Willis-Wright Baldock Town Templars U-10 2 Stevenage Borough Reds 1 STEVENAGE started the game well with some excellent passing play. The Stevenage captain hit some tremendous shots that against many keepers could have seen three or four goals. But Baldock keeper Alex Taylor was outstanding, making save after save. At the other end Baldock looked very strong every time they broke away, and it was Mark Rogers who opened the scoring for Baldock with a well taken first goal just before half-time. Rogers appeared to have wrapped up the game for Baldock with another good goal only a minute into the second half. Baldock were now playing good football with Connor Gray working very hard in midfield and William Budd and Tom Picking looking like they might score every time Baldock broke forward. Stevenage regrouped and slowly started to press forward again. Still Alex Taylor was outstanding in goal, and it took a penalty before Stevenage finally beat him. With only a few minutes left Stevenage threw everyone forward, including their goalkeeper, to try to win the game with a succession of injury time corners. It took a goal line clearance from Iain Angus to finally save Baldock, who celebrated one of their best wins of the season. Royston Colts U-8 A 0 Shefford Saints A 0 COLTS were unable to launch their new kit with a win, as they were held to a goalless draw by Shefford. This was another game that Royston dominated, but could not put the ball in the back of the net. Once again, Justin Leavers ran the game, but his efforts were to no avail, while keeper Jacob Townsend was rarely troubled. Royston Colts U-8 B 1 Shefford Saints B 0 THIS game was a lot more even, but Royston's two new players Aron Henderson and Conner Eustace, both defenders, kept Shefford's forwards quiet in the first half. Colts were awarded a penalty which Mackenzie Harris placed well in to the bottom corner to give them the lead, and despite chances for both sides, there were no more goals. Stevenage Town U-10 A 1 Melbourn Dynamos Panthers 2 MELBOURN came through their stiffest test of the season to secure maximum points against their only major contenders for league honours. An undulating pitch with a an excellent surface made this an entertaining match, and Panthers took the game straight to the opposition from the kick-off, almost scoring when Byron Lawrence smashed a left foot drive on to the bar. The lead came just moments later, when Patrick Hopper latched on to to some good approach play to slot home from inside the area. Billy Halliwell and Toby Jackson worked hard to limit Stevenage to some long range shots, while Nathan Henry and Reece King were displaying superb skill and vision to keep most of the action in their opponents' half. This paid off before half time when King raced into the area to meet a Henry corner, and he buried it in the back of the net. Stevenage were keen to make a game of it, and came out all guns blazing in the second half, forcing Henry into a more defensive role. Midway through the half, a Town cross into the area found two unmarked players, and although keeper Craig Stalker did well to get a hand to the ball, it crossed the line. For the first time this season, Panthers looked a little nervous, although they almost restored the two-goal lead when Sam Webb won the ball in midfield and found Jack Richardson, whose excellent turn and shot was saved well by the hard working Town keeper. Stevenage Town U-10 B 0 Melbourn Dynamos Tigers 4 TIGERS were challenged to put in a more committed display and responded with an all-round team effort that had been missing in recent weeks. Joe Carrington's abilities from corners, crosses and free-kicks have been a major asset to Melbourn this season and in this game he showed what he is capable of in open play with two magnificent left foot strikes. The first from a seemingly impossible angle and the second, rounding off a charge down the wing, to put Melbourn two up at half time. With goalkeeper Sam Robinson and defender Ben Jones restored to the line-up, Dynamos looked much more solid and they combined well with both Josh Chamberlain and Andrew Wilkins to ensure Town rarely mustered an attacking threat throughout the game. Alex Martin continued his great goal scoring run as he bundled a Carrington corner over the line midway through the second half. Brennan Friel and Clyde Thompson were willing runners as Melbourn put the pressure on and the fourth goal came in the last minute when Stevenage pushed everyone up for a corner but Dynamos' George Birch held his ground as striker, latched onto the clearance and despite a couple of desperate lunges by retreating defenders, coolly rolled the ball into the empty net.