BY NICK WILSON
The last match before Christmas gives Basingstoke a welcome return home as Royston Town visit the Camrose on Saturday. Following a run of four straight away matches that saw a 6-0 victory at Dunstable thanks to five goals from Sam Argent; a draw at Merthyr on Tuesday night and one defeat, that being away to Hereford. There was also the penalty shootout loss in the Hampshire Senior Cup at Winchester. It is a chance for a return to home comforts for the first time on a Saturday in over a month and a win would see Basingstoke leapfrog their visitors in the table.
Royston won promotion to the Southern League Premier Division last season as champions of the Division 1 Central league with an impressive 102 points, scoring 121 goals along the way. This season they currently sit 15th with 30 points, two places and two points above Basingstoke, albeit having played far fewer games than most teams in the league.
Royston will go into the game looking for just a second win since mid-November, partly due to postponements which have seen each of their last three games called off. Saturday’s match will be the first for them in two weeks since a 3-0 defeat at Banbury.
Manager Terry Brown is hoping for positive news on Charlie Kennedy and Dan Collier in time for the game, the former missed the midweek draw at Merthyr with a virus while the later was forced out through injury. The likes of Shane Hollamby, Sam Deadfield, Michael Atkinson and Jack McKnight are all carrying minor injuries but will likely be asked to play through them once again.