Royston Town stun St Ives with a magnificent seven

Brandon Adams was in top-form as Royston Town beat St Ives Town 7-1.

Brandon Adams was in top-form as Royston Town beat St Ives Town 7-1. - Credit: KARYN HADDON

Brandon Adams hit five and Royston Town seven in a convincing victory over a severely-lacking- in-confidence St Ives Town.

The 7-1 win was as simple as it sounds and keeps the Crows firmly in the play-off places in the Southern League Premier Division Central.

But for as comfortable as it was for the visitors to Westwood Road, they were also given way too much of a helping hand from a St Ives side who defended shambolically at times.

They are continuing to plummet down the table and on this showing, they need to do something drastic and quickly to change their fortunes.

The two teams couldn't have come in to the contest with hugely different form.

St Ives were without a win in seven league games, five of them ending in defeat, while the Crows have picked up since a slow start, winning four of the last five in the competition.

And that was perhaps reflected in the start as Royston twice got in behind the Ives inside the opening two minutes only to be pulled back by the officials.

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A high foot was the first infraction, offside the second.

Strangely it was the home side who came nearest to scoring first.

Michale Richens won the ball back in a 50-50 challenge with Isaac Galliford and after getting back up quickly, he rifled it over Welch, the goalkeeper just getting his fingertips on it to divert it onto the crossbar.

The Ives skipper was a menace in the middle of the park and helped his team wrestle a bit of control back.

However, he couldn't be everywhere and the first defensive slip allowed Royston to take the lead.

Brandon Adams picked the ball up about 30 yards and had way too much to weigh every single one of his options as the defenders all started to back off.

His decision was to carry it forward slightly and fire it from the right off centre, at the edge of the box, across Paul White and into the corner.

The second goal was another one which would have had St Ives fans looking to the heavens.

It was a corner from the Royston right played into the near post where Draper simply guided it into the net from a yard or two.

Again, the player in the mint green shirt was relatively unchallenged with all the Ives defenders behind him and he had a clear view of the ball coming into him.

Th rest of the half was a stop-start affair with a number of whistles and injuries preventing any real flow.

It also brought three substitutions, Eniola Agemoh-Davies going off for the hosts and Isaac Galliford and Spyros Mentis the injured Crows.

Royston could at least bring plenty of experience on in their second change, Stevenage legend Ronnie Henry the man brought on for his first league appearance for the club.

St Ives were back out very quickly after the break and the words of manager Ricky Marheineke would still have been ringing in their ears when the game was settled once and for all in just six second-half minutes.

The smallest crumb of comfort for them was both goals were decent goals from an attacking point of view, with little reason to blame the defence.

Josh Williams did superb on the left wing with a drag back and spin taking him away from Camron McWilliams.

The defender did at least get back to block the shot but the rebound ran perfectly for Adams to get his second.

Three minutes later it was four. A ball over the top put Adams clear and he drilled it across White and into the corner.

Matt Bateman could have had a couple before Royston did get a fifth, in what was a complete mess for goalkeeper White.

He was tackled when fielding the ball and after it had spun off the post, Adams rammed in his fourth.

The St Ives were already entertaining themselves, singing a selection of hits while also saying they were going to win 6-5 when Shariff at least gave them something to celebrate, going round Joe Welch on a one-on-one and rolling it into the empty net.

St Ives did at least threaten a bit more as Royston took their foot off the gas but the visitors still had the chances.

Dan Newton went the closest with a header from a James Brighton cross that bounced off the crossbar while Bateman and Ed Asafu-Adjaye were both off target with shots from the edge of the area.

But with two minutes to go Bateman got the goal he had been threatening and then Adams got his fifth after good work down the left wing.

St Ives Town: White, Agemoh-Davies (Dwumfuo 43), Toseland, Richens (Nabi 82), Solkhon, Milne, McWilliams, Hottor, Shariff, D.Williams, Snelus (Hicks 63).

Subs (not used): Heath, Rhaman.

Goal: Shariff 64

Booked: Richens 31

Royston Town: Welch, Asafu-Adjaye, Bridges, Murray, Titchmarsh, Darper (Bateman 46), Adams, Galliford (J.Williams 39), Brighton, Mentis (Henry 42), Newton.

Subs (not used): Brathwaite, Brown.

Goals: Adams 21, 48, 51, 62, 90+1, Draper 37, Bateman 88

Booked: Draper 45+1

HT: St Ives Town 0 Royston Town 2

Referee: Matthew Fletcher (Hemel Hempstead)