Royston moved above their opponents into fourth place after a spirited performance at Garden Walk. The emphatic 6-0 victory continued their unbeaten start to the season and proved a useful evening for their goal difference too.
A Michael Baulk hat-trick takes his season’s tally to five and was added to by younger brother Danny, the ever impressive Kyle Augustine, and substitute Fran Shilton.
The game started with Michael Baulk seemingly keen to continue how he had finished his last game: with a goal. It was he who crafted the Crows’ first chance, while at the other end the best of the opposition attacks saw Cater thread in Frear, but his shot was across goal.
Just after 15 minutes Royston made their break-through from an unlikely source, Kyle Augustine. The determined defender rode two challenges, found himself on the ground in the box, only to get back on his feet, go round another defender and slot coolly home.
It was a goal to ignite the game and the home side raised the tempo, though on the counter attack Ely were pushed forward by Captain Tunnell, who blazed over, while fellow defender Diver had a chance snuffed out at a corner.
On thirty minutes the game changed for good. A scuffle in the Ely box saw Michael Baulk hit the ground to then be squared up to by Ely defender, Pawson. Did his forehead make contact with his opponent? The referee seemed to think so. As tempers rose, Danny Baulk appeared to retaliate on behalf of his big brother. Conclusion: the referee showed a red card to Pawson, while the younger Baulk received a yellow.
It was a game-changer and within minutes the home side had doubled their lead, thanks to a bending left foot shot from Michael Baulk, curled in from the edge of the box. It felt like game over when the same player threaded Augustine into the box and as he was tripped the referee blew for a penalty. It was Baulk who stepped-up to slot the penalty home left footed.
Ely appeared to feel the game was slipping away from them and in the second half Royston made the advantage count.
It was largely one-way traffic with Ely trapped for long periods in their own half as the home side created a series of chances. The score-line could have been greater as Knowles, and substitutes Shilton and Davis, all missed clear cut opportunities.
But Ely kept going: keeper Deas could be thanked by his team-mates for not allowing the score to be more, while striker Frear ran for every cause.
Royston, however, were enjoying their evening, as first Danny Baulk scored direct from a corner, before a free-flowing move between Davies, Augustine and Davis combined to set-up top scorer Michael Baulk for his hat-trick.
Ely substitute, Harry Peterson, also went into the referee’s book as the game drew to a close, before nearly redeeming himself when he shot into the side netting. But by then the game was all but up, and the sixth and final goal was provided by Danny Baulk and slid into an empty net by Shilton. Ely headed home with lessons to ponder, while Royston now travel to St Neots for their next fixture, as the league’s only unbeaten side.