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Jamie Cureton opens the scoring as Bishop's Stortford beat Royston Town in pre-season friendly




Bishop’s Stortford continued their excellent pre-season form with a 3-1 win against Royston Town at the ProKit UK Stadium on Tuesday evening (July 30).

Goals from Jamie Cureton, Luke Callander and Jack Thomas gave the home side victory, meaning they have lost only once in the last 15 games across all competitions.

Aaron Greene returned to the side after missing Saturday's 5-0 win against Wivenhoe Town, and after an even opening 20 minutes it was the Blues who broke the deadlock. Callander put a perfect ball through to Cureton and, after Crows' keeper Joe Welch had twice blocked, the veteran striker netted at the third attempt.

Royston goalkeeper Joe Welch is ultimately unable to prevent Bishop's Stortford's Jamie Cureton netting. Picture: Nathan Cracknell (14624016)
Royston goalkeeper Joe Welch is ultimately unable to prevent Bishop's Stortford's Jamie Cureton netting. Picture: Nathan Cracknell (14624016)

Royston, who won the two league encounters between the sides in 2017-18, pressed hard for an equaliser with Brandon Adams firing a shot just wide and Matt Bateman's 15-yard effort being well saved by Fred Burbidge.

The Crows levelled two minutes before the break when Bateman collected a pass from Adams before twisting and turning in the box and firing home through a packed penalty area.

The Blues went close to restoring their lead within a minute when Johnville Renee found Greene down the left-hand side. He beat his man and fired a low cross to Cureton, who turned and fired just over from 15 yards.

Luke Callander heads home from close range for Bishop's Stortford against Royston. Picture: Nathan Cracknell (14624014)
Luke Callander heads home from close range for Bishop's Stortford against Royston. Picture: Nathan Cracknell (14624014)

It took 27 second-half minutes for Stortford to regain the lead. The visitors failed to deal with a corner and Thomas’ cross was nodded home from close range by Callander.

The win was wrapped up in the 83rd minute when Thomas opened his pre-season account with a well-struck low shot from 25 yards which left substitute keeper Eddie Bunker rooted to the spot.

Blues: Burbidge, Sampayo, Nazor (Lowe 73), Thomas, Robbins, Henshaw, Renee, Warman, Cureton, Callander (Miles 73), Greene (Charles 73). Attendance: 178.

Meanwhile, four second-half goals helped Stortford register a comfortable 5-0 home win against Wivenhoe Town on Saturday as they made it five pre-season games unbeaten.

Jack Thomas slots in for Bishop's Stortford against Royston. Picture: Nathan Cracknell (14624012)
Jack Thomas slots in for Bishop's Stortford against Royston. Picture: Nathan Cracknell (14624012)

Yassier Nazor gave the hosts a seventh-minute lead before strikes from Callander, Ryan Charles and Olly Miles, along with a rather splendid own goal, completed the victory.

The Blues were without Greene, Ryan Henshaw and Mark Haines, but never looked in trouble against the Eastern Counties League, Division One South side.

Nazor and Renee, who was back after a trial at Barnet, caused problems for the visitors in the first half and the former opened the scoring from Cureton's cross.

Ryan Charles scores from the penalty spot for Bishop's Stortford against Wivenhoe. Picture: Nathan Cracknell (14448623)
Ryan Charles scores from the penalty spot for Bishop's Stortford against Wivenhoe. Picture: Nathan Cracknell (14448623)

The lead was doubled seven minutes into the second half when good work between Cureton and Charles saw Callander convert at the far post.

Within five minutes it was 3-0. Dan Williams needlessly brought down Charles as he headed away from goal and the man known as Spider got up to convert the spot kick.

Substitute Miles hit the bar before the Blues made it 4-0 in the 69th minute, with a long punt forward from Thomas resulting in a defender heading the ball over his onrushing goalkeeper and into his own net.

While Cureton did not have much luck attempting to add to his impressive goal tally, he did set up Miles for the fifth as he crossed into the box for the youngster to round the keeper and slot home.

Thomas went close to setting up a sixth Stortford goal, but Cureton saw his effort fall into the keeper's arms.

Blues: Burbidge, Renee, Holmes (Thomas 46), Robbins, Tirivanhu, Charles, Warman, Cureton, Callander, Nazor (Miles 52).


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