SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL
St Neots Town 2 Kempston Rovers 3
Having survived the trauma of conceding two goals in a minute early in the game, St Neots responded well deservedly drawing themselves level just before the break, but worse was to follow. With just two minutes left, having dominated much of the attacking play in the second period, they saw all three points disappear as Kempston produced an unlikely late winning goal. Unbeaten in their last three league matches Kempston are staging a midwinter recovery as they strive to climb away from the relegation zone and this victory lifted them to sixteenth in the table now just two places below their hosts. With defender Charlie Johnson serving the first of his three matches ban, St Neots brought in recently acquired defender Perry White in a reorganised back line that included Aaron Smith for Dequaine Wilson-Braithwaite. There was also a debut for midfielder Dylan Switters who had joined from Step Three Leiston. He replaced Callum Anderson who was on the bench.
There was a bright start to the match with Luke Burrows screwing the first shot well wide after a swift Kempston attack and at the other end Neo Richard-Noel saw his effort deflected for a corner. Then in just over a wretched sixty seconds’ spell St Neots found themselves two goals in arrears! After nine minutes the home defence failed to clear a cross from Taylor Bakogeorge and Rafal Wielblad was allowed time to steer the ball wide of Louis Chadwick, and almost straight from the restart St Neots surrendered the ball in midfield and once again the speedy Bakogeorge rounded his marker to cross for Rafal Wielblad to double his sides’ score. It took St Neots just three minutes to recover as from a Charley Barker corner Gradi Milenge rose high above the Kempston defence to pull one goal back – his first for St Neots – but the home side were still trying to find a rhythm in their play. However, after 23 minutes new boy Dylan Switters took on the visiting defence but driven wide of target his shot only found the side netting. Myles Cowling then shot narrowly wide as St Neots attempted to repair the damage and gradually, they seemed to regain some confidence. Just sixty seconds before the break they found themselves level as Neo Richard-Noel won his way to the bye line to pull the ball back to Myles Cowling whose low shot beat the dive of Carl Knox to level the scores.
Despite having left for half time on a high, St Neots found it difficult to regain their rhythm after the break. After a period of scrappy play St Neots Manager Pete Gill played his trump card sending on fit-again leading scorer Joe Rider after an injury absence of five matches. He was quickly in the thick of the action having his first effort on goal from 25 yards deflected for a corner. At the other end Chadwick kept his side in the game with a full length save from Bakogeorge but St Neots now looked more confident. A second effort from Rider was also deflected, and St Neots were unable to take advantage of several corners as Kempston had to defend. The visitors were now restricted to breakaway attacking and in one of these Tremayne Charge shot badly wide, but as he tried to make amends three minutes later Chadwick saved well. A draw was now looking the likely outcome but with just two minutes remaining St Neots were caught short in defence and Charles drilled the ball home from ten yards to afford the visitors all three points.