Aylesbury FC’s recent resurgence came to a shuddering halt on Saturday when they were crushed 6-0 at home to league leaders Royston Town.
Even considering their own upturn in form of late, the visit of the runaway leaders was always going to be a stern test for FC and so it proved, with Royston’s victory never in doubt as they moved 14 points clear at the top of Division One Central in the Southern League.
The only silver lining for the Moles was that all of their relegation rivals also failed to win, meaning the gap back to Histon remains at five points ahead of another tough test against Marlow this weekend.
The lack of availability of experienced men Ben Stevens and the suspended Brian Haule only added to the task in hand for Aylesbury ahead of Royston’s visit on Saturday.
And the visitors required little time to get out of the blocks when Josh Castiglione smacked the ball against the bar with keeper James Weatherill well beaten.
This was an omen for the onslaught to come. Town captain Scott Bridges was the next to test Weatherill with the keeper diving to his left to prevent a goal and this was soon followed by a low shot from John Frendo.
FC had been nowhere near the away goal although Joseph Hartley tried his best with a low cross into the box on 17 minutes before a Royston foot blocked the effort.
The opening goal had more than a hint of controversy about it. A cross from the right saw Bridges leap acrobatically in the box before Daniel McAteer was ruled to have fouled Fredo despite the attacker appearing to lose balance. FC’s protests fell on deaf ears and Bridges slotted home the penalty without much difficulty.
Hartley’s low strike on the half hour was once again blocked before Town extended their lead thanks to Scott Neilson’s side-footed effort from the edge of the box.
The second-half saw substitutions for FC with Davis Haule and Alex O’Brien replacing Lewis Hayden and Marvyn Watson. Aston Goss had FC’s first chance of note but after finding space, he blasted the ball wide.
On the hour mark, an away burst from midfield saw the ball pushed past Weatherill before Castiglione hit the ball into an empty net from a very tight angle for 3-0.
Ty Deacon was also asked to attempt a strike from a tight angle but his effort was high and wide. FC’s best chance of the game came on 71 minutes. A free-kick was awarded just outside the box and Goss hit a strike of real quality that keeper Joe Welch had to scuttle across goal before palming the ball away for a corner.
With 15 minutes left, Royston grabbed another when an easy ball down the middle allowed Martel Powell plenty of space to aim and fire past Weatherill for number four.
Castiglione shoved the ball under Weatherill for the fifth with five minutes left to play with the final goal of the game on 89 minutes with Neilson cracking the ball past a sprawling keeper.
FC face Marlow this weekend before two huge games against lowly rivals Petersfield and Histon at the end of the month.