|Date||Tuesday 1 April 2014|
|Match||St Ives Town v Royston Town|
|Competition||Calor League: Central Division One|
|Royston Scorers||Bridges, Ingrey, Robins, Dobson, Bradshaw|
Royston Town put recent away day disappointments behind them with a thoroughly impressive all round performance against St Ives Town FC on Tuesday evening. Whilst this much improved display may not prove enough to revitalise any late promotion play-off push it was great to see the level of football played, the clinical finishing and the solid and confident defending.
We saw the welcome return of goalkeeper George Lawton, following injury rehabilitation and short loan spell, go on to complete a decent clean sheet not without some early understandable nerves.
The first half was a scrappy, but competitive affair with chances at both ends with possibly the visitors shading it for quality and patience in build-up play and the home side looking for swift break-aways to create their chances. With Royston playing with fizz and tempo an early chance saw Reece Dobson steal the ball with Kaan Fehmi just scuffing his shot. St Ives best effort of the half saw their persistent striker round Lawton only to be thwarted by a magnificent blocking tackle by the impressive and vocal Ryan Wharton.
Half chances were created by the Crows all through the first 45 minutes without ultimate success but the vital and all important breakthrough came right at the half time break as St Ives keeper, Nick Bennion spilt a high ball under pressure from Joe DeLaSalle and the alert Scott Bridges prodded home from 3 yards to score his first goal for the club.
Buoyed by this breakthrough, the second half was a totally different game as the Crows’ dominance prevailed and four more unanswered goals were scored to put an emphatic score-line on a ruthless display.
Five minutes in a quickly taken free-kick led to a good cross from Jhai Dhillon that found Ryan Ingrey with his back to goal and he executed a neat spin and first time shot into the corner of the net. The game was effectively finished off as a contest by a thumping header from a soaring Luke Robins from a Bridges corner on 67 minutes.
Two minutes later the lively Dobson picked up the ball wide right and drove diagonally at speed towards the penalty box, unleashing a low drive across the goal just inside the post. The fifth goal put the icing on the cake as on 78 minutes, man of the match Jack Bradshaw got his head to a Ryan Lockett free-kick that he glanced past the hapless Bennion to complete the scoring.
This was a terrific all round team display with all the players taking positive responsibility and the last thirty minutes was a particular pleasure to see the Crows sweeping the ball around a tricky, bumpy pitch with confidence and purpose.
Team: Lawton, Bradshaw, Dhillon, DeLaSalle, Wharton, Bridges, Collins (Nightingale), Ingrey (Cambridge), Fehmi (Lockett), Dobson, Robins. Subs not used – Mentis, Endacott