|Date||Monday 1st January 2018|
|Match||Bishop’s Stortford v Royston Town|
|Competition||Evostik League South: Premier Division|
In the first ever league meeting between these two sides, Royston opened up the New Year in the same vein that they had seen the old year out – with a comprehensive victory.
The Crows were fast out the traps with Adam Marriott seeing a shot blocked and Josh Castiglione just failing to convert a Scott Bridges cross before even 60 seconds had passed.
Despite the fast start it was Bishop’s Stortford who nearly took an 11th minute lead, as Josh Tibbets rushed from his goal to block an effort from Jason Williams, after his defence had been unable to deal with a long ball. Indeed Stortford enjoyed their best period of play as they pinned Royston back and created a couple of openings that they were unable to capitalise on.
The pressure was short lived though, as home goalkeeper Tyler McCarthy and his defence made a hash of an innocuous long throw into the box, leaving Marriott to pick up the pieces and calmly despatch the opening goal.
From here onwards Royston took control with John Frendo (twice), Bridges and Marriott all having opportunities to extend the lead, before Marriott did just that in the 36th minute, as he was gifted the freedom of the box, to head a Gus Scott-Morriss corner home, to double the lead.
Half-time came and went with Royston still well in control and searching for the game clinching third goal. This duly arrived in the 63rd minute as Marriott completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot after he had been dragged down.
The last half hour saw Royston dictate play with great assurance and they should really have completed a more emphatic victory. Substitute Josh Oyinsan provided a lively cameo that was deserving of a goal. From a glorious piece of skill from fellow sub Martel Powell (that was worthy of the entrance fee alone) Oyinsan was ultimately unable to beat home stopper McCarthy and McCarthy was again there to thwart him 10 minutes later. Finally with 5 minutes left another free flowing Crows move landed at the feet of Oyinsan, who was unlucky to see his 25 yard rocket rebound off the crossbar.
An excellent all round Crows performance deservedly saw them collect the 3 points and continue their march up the table, towards the coat tails of the play off places.
1-Tibbets, 2-Asafu-Adjaye, 3-Chappell, 4-Bridges (c), 5-Darling, 6-Brathwaite (16-Powell), 7-Castiglione, 8-Scott-Morriss (12-Corcoran 51), 9-Frendo (14-Oyinsan 62), 10-Thomas, 11-Marriott
Unused subs – 15-Canham, 17-Baulk
|ROYSTON TOWN||BISHOP’S STORTFORD|
|11||EFFORTS ON TARGET||3|
|8||EFFORTS OFF TARGET||4|
|15||FREE KICKS AWARDED||14|