Kempston Rovers 3 – 3 St. Ives Town
A stoppage time goal prevented Rovers from taking a notable pre-season scalp. The game began amid a torrential down pour, a marked difference on the thirty plus degree heat of the previous week.
The rain caused several players to lose their footing in the early stages of the game as they got to grips with the dramatic change in underfoot conditions from the warm ups.
The game took a while to get going as players adjusted to the conditions, which began to ease toward the half hour mark, when it was the visitors that took the lead. De’Ath finding the space to head home a whipped in set piece.
Carl Knox then had to be at his sharpest in the Rovers goal to make a string of fine saves to keep the score at one nil. George Boland drilled a shot just wide before, in first half added time, Rovers should’ve levelled matters.
Izale McLeod lifted a beautiful through ball to Gareth Hunt, who found himself in behind the defence, but couldn’t get the shot away before he was bustled out of it by the recovering defender and advancing keeper.
Less than sixty seconds later and the ball was at the other end of the park. Former Rovers hit man Jake Newman was put through by a long raking pass. He held off his man and finished low at the near post, despite Knox getting a hand to it.
The away side were good value for their two goal lead at the break.
Rovers made a change at half time to bring on Robbie Goodman and re-shuffle the back line. Within fifteen minutes the rejuvenated hosts were back in the game.
Harry Stratton seized on a poor clearance by the St Ives goal keeper and bore down on goal, cooly slipping the ball into the net.
Ten minutes later and the game was level. Goodman did well to break down a St. Ives attack and launch the counter, which eventually saw Cameron Hyde maurauding down the left flank to whip the ball in, where it was diverted home for an own goal by De’Ath.
Just over ten minutes from time, the comeback was complete as Ben Shepherd drove a howitzer shot into the top corner from fully twenty five yards to put Rovers in front for the first time.
The turn around sparked St. Ives into life and a minute from time a dangerous attack required Robbie Goodman to clear from the goal line to preserve the lead.
It wasn’t to last as with literally the final kick of the game, a scramble following a corner was smashed home, via several deflections, by Parker to level the scores.
No sooner had the ball hit the net then the referee blew for time.
Rovers continue their preseason preparations on Saturday with a home tie against their FA Trophy opponents, Wisbech Town.
- Trialist F
- Trialist E
Subs: Goodman, Andrews, Trialist C, Palmieri
Subs: Jackson, Ward, Parker, Trialist D, Wood, Snelus, Bailey
Words: Mathew Wilmot