Super Jake Turns 30
Rovers’ leading scorer netted his thirtieth goal in forty seven games since signing just under a year ago.
Kempston had to settle for a share of the points in this hard fought encounter against Northwood on an over cast afternoon at Hillgrounds. The club had been without a game for ten days after last weekend’s postponement.
The hosts got off to the perfect start when, in the eighth minute, a long Martin Conway free kick was nodded down by Alex Collard and finished with his right foot at the near post by leading marksman Jake Newman. The forward’s thirtieth strike in forty seven games for the club and twenty third of the season, a very healthy return since signing for the club at the end of last February. Rovers could have extended their early lead as chances came and went for Ben Shepherd, who saw a free kick dip just too late from the edge of the box and Luke Heneghan, warming the keepers gloves from the edge of the area. Northwood endeavoured to play some good football and looked a very dangerous proposition on the break, Williams got free on the right hand side to put a glorious ball across for Harry Newman. The visiting winger saw his shot blocked on the line by Robbie Goodman and scrambled to safety. The same player then found the side netting. Both Shepherd and Sam Johnson found themselves in the book before the half hour for questionable challenges, the former’s tenth of the season which will result in a two game ban. Robbie Goodman had to be alert again to clear off the line from a Williams cross that evaded all in its path. Northwood forward Osei tried twice to lob Martin Conway in the Rovers’ goal, unsuccessfully. With five minutes left in the half Sam Johnson had a glorious chance to make it two nil, clean through on the keeper who produced a superb block to deny the winger. Rovers were made to pay just before the break when Kouassi bustled his way into the box, dancing over and around challenges to fire low into the net for the leveller.
Kempston began the second half as they had the first, Johnson crossing into Newman who saw a snap shot deflected and bobble toward goal, only to be cleared at the last by the defence. The same pair combined moments later when Johnson saw another one on one effort blocked by the keeper, Newman’s follow up was blocked for a corner. Newman hit the post on the hour mark after fine set up play by Ben Shepherd. Luke Heneghan had two chances to restore the lead but couldn’t find the target. The second period couldn’t continue at the same pace as the first as legs tired on the pitch. There were special cheers for the introduction, as a substitute, of Ash Fuller having been out since early December. Home fans certainly delighted at his recovery from illness and looking forward to the experience winger adding to his appearance and goal tally in the coming weeks. Late on Ben Shepherd found himself with a great chance, riding two challenges before his shot was beaten away by Comas in the Northwood goal. As the clock ticked over ninety, Martin Conway was called into action to preserve the point. The keeper got down smartly to parry a long Montella effort before scrambling to his feet to turn away the rebound to ensure a share of the points come the final whistle.
Rovers attention now turns to next weekend’s away trip to Aylesbury United, who are this season sharing at Chesham United. All support is welcome.