|Date||Tuesday 25 August 2015|
|Match||St Ives Town v Royston Town|
|Competition||Evostik League Southern: Division One Central|
|Royston Scorers||Mason, Hoenes, Robins|
Following up quickly from Saturday's first three points of the season, Royston Town travelled to near neighbours, St Ives Town, to try and keep this welcome resurgence going.
The Crow's squad and starting line up was again tweaked seeing Chris Watters slot in at left back, Stuart Bridges regain his starting place and his bother Scott champing at the bit on the sub bench, folloing completion of his lengthy carried over ban from last season.
The Ives were unbeaten in their five games so far this season, with three wins and two draws and were occupying third place in the embryonic league table.
The visitors set out their attacking intentions very early with a swift, flowing move started by Joe Ryan, moved on by Rob Mason and volleyed by Stuart Bridges firmly, but straight at home keeper Tim Trebes and Royston skipper, Ron Yates, was equally tested, deflecting a well met Ives header.
With early half chances at both ends the game continued at a swift pace and this seemed to suit the pumped up Crows and Ryan Ingrey shaved the post with a spectacular cross goal effort in the 5th minute. St Ives were defending desperately and not always with cohesion – but it was the Crows defence that creaked loudest as a home team corner was not dealt with convincingly and the ball flashed by the Royston goal worryingly.
With quality of play deteriorating slightly, set pieces started to become a feature of this game and with St Ives having their share and usually delivering well, it was Royston who on 23 minutes broke the deadlock with Stuart Bridges delivering a peach for big man Mason to head home low and hard and the Crows followed this up 4 minutes later with Bridges again delivering a free kick perfectly for diminutive winger Rhys Hoenes to rise highest and firmly head in centrally.
This perfect 1-2 goal combination briefly took the wind out of the host's sails and Royston, obviously pleased with their five minutes work, sat back slightly. St Ives were the first to re-group and applied pressure on the Crows' goal for the last 5 minutes of the first half and were extremely unlucky not to get any tangible reward for this period of dominance. Half time score 0-2.
No immediate changes saw the Crows re-take the field first and their positive demeanour indicated a will to build on this good first half and not let their hosts get any further foothold whatsoever.
The excellent indefatigable Hoenes bossed this half proving fast, tricky and ultimately blood boilingly frustrating to the Ives' defence who had no legal way of dealing with him and coupled with the honest and fruitful endeavour of the equally impressive Ingrey injecting energy and speed – combined with some strong substitutions won this match with suitably controlled combative superiority.
Ten minutes in and Rob Mason and Joe Ryan were replaced by Luke Robins and Scott Bridges with the latter making his new season debut and looking fit and keen to make a positive input.
On 61 minutes, after a period of scrappy midfield stalemate, Hoenes broke through centrally only to be blatantly fouled at the edge of the penalty area with the desperate defender justifiably concerned that he may be adjudged last man – the referee got no real input from his assistant and just a yellow card was brandished.
The officials were in danger of letting this game get away from them as both sides jostled aggressively for advantage and Royston had two valid shouts for handball in the box that were either not seen or ignored. To their credit the home side started to have some joy down the right flank and left back Watters was given grateful respite, being replaced by the fresh, willing and capable Jack Bradshaw.
This game was done as a contest when on 71 minutes the previously impressive Trebes was harried sufficiently by the indomitable Ingrey and his rushed clearance kick only fell to the in space Robins whom executed a perfect lobbed finish that was both exquisite and skilful. 0-3.
With home side tempers fraying and officials guessing, the last ten minutes of this previously entertaining match up was ugly but with attacking triumvirate of Robins, Ingrey and Hoenes tearing their hosts apart at every juncture there was only ever going to be one result – a well won three points and clean sheet for the worthy Crows.