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Rovers lose it late on

Kempston Rovers suffered a third straight defeat at Yaxley

The Walnut Boys had a re-shuffle in the week since the heavy loss at Hornchurch in the FA Cup and handed two debuts in the starting line up as Tony Joyce looked for a reaction from his players.

An early warning was fired across the Kempston bows as Sanders headed wide in the fourth minute.  Carl Knox was required to be at his best on the quarter hour as the hosts saw two chances beaten away by the Rovers number one, Sanders initial header was only parried but his follow up was smothered spectacularly.  Twenty minutes in and Rovers thought they had taken the lead, Izale McLeod chesting in to the net from a free kick but was judged to have infringed, although it was unclear from the press box if it was offside or handball.  On the half hour, the game burst into life as Nolan committed a horror tackle on George Boland, high and late, Boland was left prone on the turf to receive medical treatment.  Shockingly, the referee only produced a yellow card and the tone for the rest of the game was set.  Home supporters were even moved to say the match official shouldve produced the red card for the horrible challenge.  four minutes late and Kempston let their football do the talking, a through ball from Ben McGrath left the Yaxley defence waiting for a flag that was never going to come allowing Harry Stratton the freedom of the half to advance on goal and cooly slot home his first goal of the season.  The goal seemed to spark Yaxley into life and they produced three late chances in the half, Cotton and Sanders the guilty parties wasting the opportunities before one final save from Knox to preserve the lead into the break.

Five minutes after the break and Kempston were convinced they should’ve had a penalty as Izale McLeod was cleaned out by Butcher in the home goal getting no where near a cross.  The match official was unmoved, despite protestations and went so far to caution Jordan Wright for his over-zealous argument.  In the fifty third minute, Yaxley were allowed space in the middle of the park and Joe Butterworth was given time to size up a shot from distance, which he hit into the top corner to level the scores in spectacular fashion.  McLeod then wasted a chance to restore Rovers lead, blazing wide after neat build up play from Stratton.  Midway through the half Sanders and Knox collided in the area with both going for a cross.  Knox was left winded and in need of treatment for several minutes.  Some Yaxley players showed a lack of class and concern for the injured player by screaming for a non-existent penalty after the collision.  Knox recovered sufficiently to carry on and produced a point blank save to preserve the parity denying Nolan.  With the clock winding down, Alfie Powell launched a long ball forward and found the head of sub Emmanuel Dahie, but the unmarked midfielder couldn’t guide his header on target.  In the eighty third minute, the home side’s pressure and physicality told as Kempston failed to clear a corner, allowing Watson to slam the ball home from close range in the confusion.  Satisfied, Yaxley began to manage the clock.  Cotton had other ideas, missing a stoppage time chance when it was easier to score after the ball was cut back to him.  It didn’t matter, though, moments later, he snuck in behind the Rovers back line and rounded Knox to make it three one.  To his credit, the referee added on the time that Yaxley attempted to waste, but Kempston were unable to trouble the scoreboard any further.  Three one the final score.

Rovers third defeat in a row dips them down to fifteenth place in the table, with three home games in three difference competitions on the horizon – starting on Tuesday with St Neots Town and the Southern League Cup, before next weekend Rovers host Welwyn Garden City, before in two weeks time, Wisbech are the visitors in the FA Trophy.

Yaxley 3-1 Kempston


1 Knox, 2 Massaro, 3 Brennan, 4 Wright ©, 5 Powell, 6 Sage, 7 Boland, 8 McGrath, 9 Stratton, 10 McLeod, 11 Hunt

Subs 12 Dahie, 14 Shortt, 15 Lewis


1 Butcher, 2 Duncliffe, 3 Garner, 4 Butterworth, 5 Bettles, 6 Gothard, 7 Waumsley, 8 Ballinaira, 9 Sanders, 10 Cotton, 11 Nolan

Subs 12 Hook, 14 Williams, 17 Watson (unused Chilvers, Gow)

Att – 78

Rovers MOM – George Boland

Matthew Wilmot

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