Dean on hand to Grant Hythe passage to next round
Kempston Rovers slip out of the FA Trophy at the first hurdle with defeat at home to Hythe Town.
The Walnut Boys failed to make pressure pay as their Isthmian League Division One opponents closed out a clever victory to advance to the next round.
The game took a while to get going as both sides looked to feel each other out, the first real chance of note came Kempston’s way as a Sam Johnson corner was headed over the top by Robbie Goodman. It was Rovers keeper, Martin Conway who was first called into action however as twenty minutes in, full back Ryan Palmer skipped beyond a challenge to put a cross in for Ashley Miller, only for the forwards shot to roll tamely into the arms of Conway. Sam Johnson saw an effort go over the bar after some scrappy build up play when Hythe couldn’t clear their lines. Dean Grant had a flicked header saved by Conway from a free kick. Leading scorer, Jake Newman was frustrated up front by the dominant David Cook, but the Rovers forward did manage a driven shot on the half hour that the referee deemed had been tipped over the bar by the visiting keeper William Godmon. Five minutes before the break, Hythe hit the crossbar. A free kick, cheaply given away thirty yards from goal, very centrally placed, was hit hard and true by the lively Kieron Campbell. Rovers keeper, Conway was relieved to see the woodwork come to his side’s rescue. The two sides went in goal less at the break.
The second half began much as the first, slow and considered play married with good game and clock management from the visitors. Hythe took a deserved lead in the sixty second minute as Palmer floated a free kick into the box, finding the head of Dean Grant between several defenders to divert the ball home. In the immediate aftermath of the goal, Rovers attempted to step up a gear and were twice thwarted by the visitors, unfairly according to the referee. First Ash Fuller was hauled to the ground when attempting to break away. Visiting captain Ryan Johnson was shown a yellow card for his endeavours. Less than two minutes later, substitute Sid Sollis also had his name taken when he kicked the ball away as Rovers tried to take a quick free kick. It took until the eighty second minute for Rovers to register a shot on target, Sam Johnson latching on to a Luke Heneghan through ball, only to be challenged as he pulled the trigger, resulting in a tame effort. Michael Lyon was the first Kempston player to have his name taken by the referee for a lunging challenge on an opponent. With just five minutes left, frustrations threatened to boil over as Kieron Campbell conceded a cheap foul in the Rovers penalty area and proceeded to run away with the ball. Conway, who was trying to get on with the game, attempted to recover the ball. The referee booked Campbell for attempting to delay the game unnecessarily. With stoppage time approaching, Jake Newman thought he was in on goal, but was denied by Godmon who was very quickly off his line. The keeper was caught by Newman’s challenge for the ball. Newman was booked for his trouble and the keeper got to wind the clock down a little further. Deep into added time, in a desperate attempt to rescue proceedings, Conway had come forward to play the ball in the Hythe half, but his cross only found a blue shirt. A breakaway looked likely, but was halted by a foul by George Boland as the midfielder took one for the team, as the expression goes, and was booked. Hythe held out for the win and advance to face a tricky away tie at Isthmian Premier side Leatherhead. Rovers will lick their wounds and go again on Tuesday evening against Hayes & Yeading in the league.