Defeat of Royston is ‘coming of age’ for Petersfield

Petersfield boss Ian Saunders. Picture: Neil Marshall
Petersfield boss Ian Saunders. Picture: Neil Marshall
Danny Thompson. Picturer: Keith Woodland

Thompson excited after returning for third spell at Petersfield

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Petersfield Town produced an inspired performance to inflict a 3-2 defeat on high-flying Royston Town in Southern League division one central.

Ian Saunders regarded it as the Rams best performance in his four years at the helm.

Joe Briggs. Picture: Neil Marshall

Joe Briggs. Picture: Neil Marshall

He said: ‘I am absolutely over the moon because it has to be the best we have played since I have been at the club.

‘Royston battered us 4-0 at our place early in the season, so it shows how far we have come.

‘We rose to the occasion, dug deep and played good football on a decent pitch in front of a sizeable crowd.

‘I think it marks our coming of age in the Southern League.

‘Hopefully this is something we can maintain for the rest of the season.

‘The aim is to get to the magic 40-point mark which should be enough to guarantee our safety.’

The Rams fell behind from the penalty spot after 23 minutes but hit back to level before half-time.

David Jerrard picked out Joe Briggs, who cut inside before firing home a 25-yard shot off the post.

Lewis Hyde then put the Rams in front with a header from a corner on 51 minutes.

‘It was a bit like manning the Alamo after that as they put us under tremendous pressure,’ said Saunders.

‘Our goalkeeper, Anthony Ender, was terrific – pulling off half a dozen top-class saves.

‘When Royston equalised they thought they would go on and win it.

‘We always looked dangerous on the break, though, and hit back quickly.’

Within two minutes of being pegged back, the Rams got their noses in front for a second time.

Briggs produced a decent cross and Jerrard scored with a glancing header.

‘This is a terrific result for us and should give us a big boost for the second half of the season,’ said Saunders.

‘We went a bit more old school with a lot of the squad from last season.

‘Their togetherness showed and if we can keep this going maybe we can finish a little higher than we hoped.’