Dean Dummett bundled in a late goal to net Rovers a point on Easter Monday, a result which leaves their visitors North Leigh running through all sorts of permutations in respect to their relegation fight come the last game of the season.
The game was played in glorious sunshine and rising temperatures at Hillgrounds and the sleepy, summer feeling spilled over from the terraces to the pitch as the first half was played at a very tepid pace.
Daniel Akubuine created the first real moment of note on ten minutes, crossing to the far post causing chaos in the defence that ended with a corner but could’ve seen an own goal.
From the corner, Dean Dummett flashed a header wide of the mark. Moments later Henry Landers registered an effort on target for the visitors, but his swept shot lacked any power to beat Carl Knox.
The game then settled in the middle of the park, with neither side really imposing on the other. It took until ten minutes from the break for either goal to be troubled.
Cameron Hyde superbly turned his man and delivered a pin point cross field ball to Scott Joseph, who saw his shot beaten away at the near post.
George Boland had a chance from a poorly cleared corner, but he struck his volley into the turf from the edge of the box which took all the sting out of the shot and allowed the clearance.
In first half stoppage time Alabi’s shot for North Leigh didn’t trouble Knox, who made the comfortable save. Goalless at the break.
A half time change for the visitors saw the introduction of Hunte, who looked to have changed the game barely five minutes into the second period.
The burly forward slipped in behind the Rovers defence and shot across the advancing Knox and into the far corner to open the scoring.
On the hour mark, he could’ve doubled the lead, but fired wide after creating space in the box. Rovers’ captain for the day Jordan Wright then took matters into his own hands, with a quarter of the game remaining he won the ball back in the middle of the park and surged forward, laying the ball to Scott Joseph.
The combative forward’s curling effort fell just wide, but it was enough to enliven the home support. Josh Crawley whipped a free kick just wide with less than ten minutes to go, then, in the eighty third minute, Rovers got the lucky break.
Crawley swung in a corner toward the near post, Cavanagh flapped at the ball, hitting it against his own defender on the line, allowing Dean Dummett to steal in and stab the loose ball home.
Both Crawley and Dummett laid claim to the goal and there was a strong case for an own goal from the keeper, but Dummett’s was judged to have been the key touch to level the game up.
A stoppage time surge from North Leigh saw the ball squared across goal toward Hunte to tap into the empty net, only for Jordan Wright to heroically throw himself in the way to preserve the point.
With results elsewhere in the division a win for North Leigh would have seen them safe from the relegation spectre, but the draw leaves them considering the permutations ahead of their last game.
Rovers stay in thirteenth place with just the solitary game of the season to go. Kick off next Saturday at Yaxley is at 3pm, all travelling support is welcome.
- (not used Bush, Joyce)
- (not used Martei, Saunders)
Att – 122
Words: Matthew Wilmot