|Date||Tuesday 27th March 2018|
|Match||St. Ives Town v Royston Town|
|Competition||Evostik League South: Premier Division|
Royston put an end to a run of four successive away defeats, a run that had seen their play-off hopes severely dented, thanks to yet another hat trick from the prolific Adam Marriott.
With the ground staff having worked tirelessly to remove standing water from the pitch, the playing surface was never going to be easy and particularly in the first half, proved to be a great leveller, as both teams struggled to play any meaningful football on the bobbly pitch.
The Crows created the first chance in the 8th minute, as Ed Asafu-Ajaye swung in a superb cross into the 6-yard box. Unfortunately a stretching John Frendo was just unable to climb high enough and could only divert the ball just over the cross bar.
At the other end, as became the theme of the St Ives attack in the first half, the pace of Tom Knowles was causing the away defence problems. In quick succession around the quarter of an hour mark Knowles shot just wide, before cutting inside and hitting a fierce shot that Josh Tibbets was grateful to be straight at him.
The opening goal arrived in the 24th minute and was typical in the extreme to what had gone before. A well worked corner created a scramble in the box that was half cleared, Dan Brathwaite played the ball back in where another goalmouth scramble ensued, but this time the ball fell to ace predator Marriott, who needed no second invitation to put Royston in front.
Knowles continued to be a constant thorn to the Crows defence as he saw a shot rebound off the post and it wasn’t long before his endeavours were rewarded, as he shut down some hesitant play, to race clear and square for Ben Baker to tap into an empty net, to level the scores heading into half time.
Once the second half began it didn’t take long for Royston to re-take the lead. Following some probing interplay between Scott Bridges and Scott Thomas, Marriott found some space on the edge of the Ives penalty area. Taking the ball on the half turn his low shot lacked real power, but managed to squirm its way under Trebes in the home goal.
Royston continued on the front foot and had much better control of the game, as they managed to snuff out any service for the pacey home forwards. They continued to search for a game clinching 3rd goal, but Trebes atoned for his earlier error, to make smart saves from Josh Castiglione and that man Marriott, both times tipping goal bound efforts over his bar.
With only a one goal lead, Royston could never be sure of the win, but St Ives rarely threatened and Tibbets remained largely untroubled. It was ultimately left until injury time for the points to be rightly claimed, as Marriott wriggled into the area with some adept footwork. Having been eventually crowded out he gained some fortune, as the ball broke kindly for him to stroke home the game ending third goal and complete his 4th hat-trick of 2018 and take his tally of goals since Christmas to 21.
1-Tibbets, 2-Asafu-Adjaye, 3-Alomenu (15-Powell 59), 4-Bridges (c), 5-Gaughran, 6-Brathwaite, 7-Castiglione, 8-Scott-Morriss, 9-Frendo (14-Hankins 59), 10-Thomas, 11-Marriott
Unused subs – 12-Murray, 16-Gordon
|ROYSTON TOWN||ST IVES TOWN|
|10||EFFORTS ON TARGET||5|
|9||EFFORTS OFF TARGET||4|
|13||FREE KICKS AWARDED||11|