Rovers finish on a high
Kempston Rovers extended their unbeaten streak to end the season with no loss in twelve with a win away at Hanwell Town
Ever present Robbie Goodman, playing his fifty second game of the season for Kempston, scrambled home a second half winner to settle this rearranged game. This was the third attempt to play this fixture, the previous two falling foul of the dreadful spring weather, however you wouldn't have known it looking at the pitch, which was in a near pristine condition more akin to the opening game than the final one.
Before the match, both sides formed a guard of honour for the Hanwell manager, Ray Duffy, in charge of his final game for the club after nearly a thousand matches involved with the club. Interestingly, his successor started in defence for the hosts.
It took ten minutes for Kempston to take the lead, a Luke Heneghan corner was headed down at the far post by Alex Collard. Jake Newman was on hand to turn the ball goalwards, finding the net via the finger tips of the luckless goal keeper. The Walnut Boys had several further chances to extend the lead, Nathan Tshikuna seemed determined to add to his goal tally for the season, seeing three superb efforts kept out. The Hosts managed to level the scores midway through the half, lively winger Imedd Kartita finding the top corner of the net from outside the box. The two sides went in level at the break.
Less than five minutes into the second half and the game saw its winning goal. Robbie Goodman surging forward down the right hand side, got a cross into the area toward Newman. A Hanwell foot deflected the cross back to Goodman, who bundled the ball home at the near post via the keeper and the post. The hosts enjoyed their best spell of the game after Rovers made their first two changes, earning a succession of corners, but never really testing Martin Conway in the Kempston goal. Nathan Tshikuna continued to threaten and hit the base of the post with a stinging shot. Alex Collard marshalled the defence very well, making numerous significant clearances and coming close with a couple of headers at the other end.
The final whistle signalled not only the end of the game, but also of the season for both clubs. Kempston extending their unbeaten run to twelve games to rise to seventh place in the final table, above Bedford Town for the second successive season. Ultimately, Rovers fell short of the play off places again, but have a lot of positives to take into next season, where the aim will undoubtedly be to go one better.
With no further fixtures to play, the only other event on the Kempston calendar this season is awards evening. Presentation of the end of season awards will take place at the club this Saturday, fifth May from seven thirty.