Royston Town 4 Leverstock Green 0
Leverstock Green fell to their biggest defeat for a couple of years as they travelled to league leaders Royston Town in Saturday’s SSML Premier Division match.
Royston continued their goal-happy form which had seen them score 15 in their previous three league games, and although they were much the better side, some basic defensive errors by the Leverstock side contributed to the goals.
Steve Heath unveiled another new signing in Seldyn Grant, transferred from Flackwell Heath and put straight into the starting line-up, while Max Farrelly began on the bench, having played a full game for his college the previous day.
Royston had the Green goal under pressure from the start.
In the second minute John McGrandles came in to meet a free kick at the far post, but his effort was blocked on the line.
In the fifth minute Matt Standen slid in to meet Ryan Lockett’s ball across goal but just failed to make contact.
The opening goal came in the 11th minute. Kaan Fehmi pounced on a hesitant clearance as a ball was played into the box and shot home from close range.
Despite all the Royston pressure, the only serious save that Carl Tasker had to make in the first half was in the 30th minute, tipping an attempted chip from Fehmi onto the bar.
Leverstock finally got some pressure onto the Royston goal in the last five minutes of the half with a series of corners and free kicks which tested the home side.
Keeper Will Norris did well to punch one of them away under pressure from Junior Owusu-Akonor.
A change at half time saw Max Farrelly replace Paul Insley.
Royston continued to dominate, but the Green had their moments as well.
Their best chance of the game came on a counter-attack in the 62nd minute.
Dan Griggs played the ball forward to Owusu-Akonor, who did well to outpace and outmuscle the last defender, but he pulled his eventual shot wide of Norris’ goal.
Leverstock were still in the game until Royston got a decisive second goal in the 77th minute.
Carl Edwards’ pass to Luke Robins should have been cut out by Lee Bircham but wasn’t, and Robins was clean through to ruthlessly blast the ball past Tasker from the edge of the box.
The third goal on 81 minutes was an unfortunate one for Tasker. Robins sent over a cross from the left touchline which looked innocuous enough, but the Green keeper must have taken his eye off the ball for a second as he caught it but fumbled it.
Despite Tasker’s effort to reclaim the ball it dropped over the line and the linesman flagged to signal the goal.
Royston were rampant by now against a dispirited Green side, and a fourth goal was added in the last minute when the Green defence was sliced open by a through ball and Standen went through to round Tasker and slot home.
It is only the second time in the Steve Heath era that Green have lost a game by a four-goal margin – both of them against Royston.
Next up for the Green is a visit to Chesham United Reserves in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Trophy tonight.