Sports Aim To Retake Top Six Place

by Peter Scherer

Having slipped to seventh in the Southern Premier League Central Division behind Ilkeston Town, Mickleover will be looking to regain their top six place this weekend, when they host 10th placed Royston Town at the Don Amott Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Back in January we drew 1-1 with our visitors, thanks to an Oli Greaves goal. Since then they have had six home wins, but only one point from their three away games, with a 3-3 draw at Ilkeston.

Royston lost at home to Tamworth last Saturday, but were due to have played at Alvechurch on Tuesday, but became another victim of the Alvechurch pitch.

Joe Bateman is the only doubt in the home squad, having missed last weeks win at Bromsgrove.

Royston manager Steve Castle was a midfielder who started as a Tottenham junior, but also played for Leyton Orient, Birmingham and Plymouth among others, before retiring in 2004. He has been in charge at Garden Walk since 2013 and previously managed Takeley and St Albans and was assistant at Cambridge Utd.

Dimitrios Kyriatzis has been first choice keeper for most of the season. He was with Brentford after they picked him up at Henley Utd. But after a loan at Stevenage, he joined Inter Leipzig in Germany on his release. After almost two years he returned to the UK with Bedfont Sports and came to Royston in November 2021.

When Kyriatzis has been out injured, Louis Chadwick has taken over the number one spot. He is a loanee from Cambridge Utd, who has also been loaned out to St.Neots, Cambridge City and Brentwood.

Right back Cole Da Silva has represented Wales at every level from Under 16 to Under 21. Originally a Luton Town junior, he passed through Chelsea, Brentford and Leicester City’s youth scheme’s too, before going to Croatia with HNK Sibenik. He returned to the UK after six months and played for Oxford City and Hemel, before coming to Royston last September.

Ronnie Henry was a Tottenham youth team player, who was loaned to Southend before making a permanent move to Dublin City in 2004.He then spent seven years at Stevenage, before joining Luton Town, only to return again two years later. Another five years on he joined Billericay, from where Royston signed him in May ’21. He is also Grandson of ex Tottenham double winning defender Ron Henry.

Striker Matt Bateman is in his second spell at Garden Walk. He arrived originally from Berkhamsted in 2019, but moved onto Hemel after one year, before making the return trip again in August ’21.

Striker Fredrik Hinds arrived just before Christmas, after spending a year at Wingate. He had League Two and Championship experience, after starting off at Luton Town. He then joined Bristol City, who also loaned him to Cheltenham, Wrexham and Colchester and a three-month spell at Hemel before joining Wingate.

Right back Shaun Keane came to the club pre-season, from Peterborough Sports. He was previously at Bedford, having started out with Peterborough Utd.

Ed Asafu-Adjaye is a right back too and an ex Luton Town youngster. He was loaned to Salisbury and Histon before joining Forest Green on his release.

Left back James Brighton is an ex Birmingham City Junior. He joined Cambridge Utd on his release, and was loaned to Hemel and Cambridge City before a permanent move to the latter. He joined our visitors in November 2019 after four years at Kettering.

He was then at Hemel before his first stop at Royston in July 2017, staying one year before moving to Hayes & Yeading. He returned to our visitors in July 2019.

Joel Nakatani-Brown is another left back and a pre-season arrival too, from Westfield. He has also played for Hillingdon, Cockfosters and FC Romania.

Former Cambridge Utd midfielder Fernando Bell-Toxtle was signed in September from Rushden & Diamonds. He was loaned to St.Neots and joined Rushden following his release, but moved to Basford while studying in Nottingham, before returning to Rushden.

Midfielder Alfie Williams is on loan from Stevenage until the end of the season. He started at Tottenham’s Academy Under 12’s but since joining Stevenage he has been loaned to Biggleswade, Kings Langley, Hemel and Hayes & Yeading.

Pre-season signing Nathan Tshikuna is an attacking midfielder too who started out at MK Dons. His path took him on to Aylesbury, New Bradwell St Peter, Buckingham, Bedford, Kempston Rovers, MK Gallacticos, Barton Rovers and was at Rushden last season.

Home produced striker Kian Harness came into the first team squad last season, but scored a hattrick earlier this season in the home win over Hitchin Town.

Midfielder Spyros Mentis has spent most of his career at Royston. He first arrived from Takeley in 2014, having previously been at St Albans. He has had spells at Soham and Hayes & Yeading too, but has been back at Royston for the last three years.

Young defender Will Hall was signed in October. He’s an ex Watford junior and had a loan spell at Kings Langley last season too.

Experienced defender and captain Adam Murray had played for Cambridge City before arriving at Royston, but well over 200 hundred appearances later he is still a main stay of the side.

6ft 6in striker Shomari Barnwell arrived in November from Hanwell Town. He started out with Bowers & Pitsea before joining Dagenham & Redbridge. A loan at Bishop Stortford followed, before he moved to Solihull Moors. After a further loan at Lewes he joined Barking, moving on again to Brentwood, Grays, Great Wakering Rovers, Bishop Stortford again, Maldon & Tiptree and started this season at Hanwell.

Centre back Mackye Townsend-West has recently arrived on loan too from Stevenage, having previously been to St.Albans.

Tom Newman is a striker or midfielder who has also spent time at Soham on a dual registration, during his five year stay at Royston.

Former England C International Kye Marsh-Brown was a January arrival from Peterborough Sports. The midfielder started out at Brentford, before joining Bedford on his release. Further moves have taken him to Egham, Whitehawk, Welling, Biggleswade, Dartford, Hemel and St Neots, before joining Peterborough in February last year.

Defender or midfielder Jay Rolfe made the switch from Welwyn Garden City to Royston in July last year. He joined them from Cockfosters four years ago, and has also played for Hatfield Town and Colney Heath.

Midfielder George Hoddle is currently on loan from Cambridge Utd, having been on loan at St Neots earlier in the season too.

Matthew Crowther, Freddie Brown, Harry Forde, Archie Cane, Isa Rotimi and Charlie Castle, son of manager Steve,  have also been in the squad this season, having come through the clubs own junior scheme.

Kick off as usual is 3pm at the Don Amott Arena.

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