A fine first half was undone in the final few minutes
Kempston battled back from an early set-back to lead at the break thanks to two sublime goals from Izale McLeod, but found themselves on the wrong end of the score line at full time after a spirited North Leigh comeback.
Rovers stated their intent from the very start, Jake Newman forcing a first minute save from Cavanagh before James Sage tested the visiting keeper in the second minute. North Leigh’s first attack yielded the game’s opening goal in the sixth minute. Seacole cutting back for Dutton-Black to smash home from edge of the box. Seacole could’ve doubled Rovers misery moments later but he contrived to put his unmarked header wide of the mark. Just before the half hour, Rovers were level seemingly out of nowhere. A high, hanging ball from Robbie Goodman was headed only half clear, where it was met on the full by Izale McLeod. His thunderous volley from well outside the box crashed into the bottom corner of the net, leaving Cavanagh grasping at thin air as the veteran forward celebrated. McLeod was then gifted the chance to put Rovers in front. Another hanging diagonal ball was sent toward McLeod, only to be cleaned out by Cavanagh in the air. McLeod dusted himself down and took the kick, placing it low to the keepers right, only to be denied by a splendid save from Cavanagh to keep the scores level. Three minutes before half time, came the best move of the entire match. Goodman delivered another dangerous deep cross into the danger area, Jake Newman was able to backheel on the volley into the path of McLeod, who simply diverted the ball with the side of his foot into the far bottom corner of the net to put the hosts in front for the first time. A beautiful goal to send the home side in ahead at the break.
Kempston were forced into a change at the break, Stefan Bailey withdrawn as a precaution with a slight knock. Just before the hour mark, Lance Williams looped an effort toward the top corner of the net, which had to be smartly cleared by Carl Knox. Williams seemed convinced that he should’ve had a penalty, but the referee waved him away. This began a ten minute period with players looking to the referee as tackles began to intensify, however the match officials stood firm and continued their good performance. Midway through the half, Kempston did concede a needless foul just outside the box. Morgan Williams lined it up and squeezed his left footed effort under the wall and into the corner of the net, despite the best attempts of Knox to keep it out. The draw, perhaps, the fair result at that stage, but North Leigh had other ideas. Three minutes from time McNish burst into the box and put the ball goalwards. Finaly Brennan took two attempts and the use of the post to clear it off the line, but Dutton-Black was on hand to bundle the loose ball home and send his team into raptures with a late winning goal. As the ninety minutes expired, McNish added a fourth for the visitors to take all the wind out of Kempston sails and take away from what had been a much improved performance.
The defeat sees Rovers slip to eighteenth in the table. Due to Rovers early exit from the FA Trophy, next Saturday sees the team travel to Kidlington for a re-arranged fixture. Meanwhile the Reserves host Yaxley on Tuesday in their league cup. The reserves are currently on a five game winning streak in all competitions.
Kempston 2-4 North Leigh
1 Knox, 2 Goodman, 3 Brennan, 4 Bailey, 5 Powell, 6 Sage, 7 Stratton, 8 McGrath, 9 Newman, 10 McLeod, 11 Baker
Subs 14 Dahie (unused Hunt, Shortt, Wright, Ward)
1 Cavanagh, 2 Elliott, 3 M.Williams, 4 Gunn, 5 Brown, 6 Learoyd, 7 Grant, 8 McNish, 9 Seacole, 10 L.Williams, 11 Dutton-Black
Subs 14 James, 15 Ngathe, 17 Woodley (unused Gillett, Linford-Pill)
Att – 110
Rovers MOM – Izale McLeod