Kempston Rovers put in a solid performance against Daventry, but were undone at home by a goal in each half, with Daventry Town’s Jack Bowen netting a brace to settle the game in the visitors’ favour despite having played three quarters of the game with ten men.
Kempston Rovers looked to be putting in a response to their New Year’s Day drubbing at St. Neots, Cameron Hyde, restored to the starting line up, hit the side netting after twenty minutes following a burst of speed down the left hand side.
Five minutes later and Sam Johnson was played in behind the defence. With just the on-rushing James Martin to beat, the nippy winger went around the former Kempston keeper, only to be clipped and brought down outside the area.
With no covering defenders, denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity was the decision from the official who showed Martin a straight red card.
Rovers began to pound on the door with chances coming and going for Izale McLeod, Stefan Bailey and Johnson.
McLeod hit the post from a tight angle ten minutes from the break, then just before half time, the complexion of the game changed, Aaron King went down in the area and the referee pointed to the spot.
Bowen slotted in low to the keeper’s left to separate the two sides on the scoresheet at the break.
Against the ten men, Kempston nearly found themselves level instantly in the second period, with Cameron Hyde hitting the inside of the post from the edge of the box with a fizzing low drive.
Daventry defended resolutely and found ways to repel what Rovers could throw at them.
Sam Johnson turned on the edge of the box and fired just wide with fifteen minutes to go, Cameron Hyde fired a speculative shot wide of the mark, then on the cusp of stoppage time a corner was delivered into the danger area causing an almighty scramble, which was cleared from the line twice before Daventry broke away to the other end of the field.
Aaron King’s long shot was spilt by rookie keeper Michael Hudson, leaving Bowen the simple task of mopping up the pieces and sealing the win with his second goal.
Rovers remain in eighteenth place thanks to other results around the league ahead of another crucial basement clash next weekend away at Didcot Town. The Reserves Team host Rothwell Corinthians next weekend in the semi final of the United Counties Reserve League Cup, one of two semi finals they have this season.
1 Hudson, 2 Birch, 3 Brennan, 4 Wright ©, 5 Bailey, 6 Sage, 7 Johnson, 8 Goodman, 9 Baker, 10 McLeod, 11 Hyde
Subs 14 Dahie (unused Hunt, Stratton, Knox)
1 Martin, 2 Childs, 3 O’Connor, 4 Harris, 5 Barnett, 6 Confue, 7 Creaney, 8 Finch, 9 Bowen, 10 King, 11 Print
Subs 12 Cassidy, 14 Stanbridge, 17 Finlay (GK) (unused Fitzgerald, Orosz)
Attendance – 79
Rovers Man of the Match – Finlay Brennan
Words by Matthew Wilmot & Tom Carr