Fightback comes to nothing as St Neots hit by late sucker-punch against Kempston

Myles Cowling equalised for St Neots Town at the end of the first half against Kempston Rovers.

Myles Cowling equalised for St Neots Town at the end of the first half against Kempston Rovers. - Credit: KARYN HADDON

Having survived the trauma of conceding two goals in a minute early in the game, St Neots Town looked to have salvaged a point at home to Kempston Rovers - before seeing it cruelly snatched away from them two minutes from time.

The 3-2 loss in Division One Central of the Southern League extends an unwanted record without a victory to seven, with only two draws in that sequence.

This one will hurt though as they had dominated much of the attacking play in the second period and looked good value to claim all three.

With defender Charlie Johnson serving the first of his three-match 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.

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Then in a wretched 60 seconds, Saints conceded two.

They 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 Wielblad to double his side's score.

Fortunately the hosts were able to halve the deficit in just three minutes, Charley Barker's corner headed home by Gradi Milenge, his first for the club.

Despite this the home side were still trying to find a rhythm although Switters did find the side netting with one shot.

Myles Cowling also shot narrowly wide as the confidence began to grow and with a minute to go until half-time, they drew level, Richard-Noel getting to the by-line before pulling it back for Cowling to beat the dive of Carl Knox.

Despite having left the field on a high, St Neots found it difficult to regain their rhythm after the break.

After a period of scrappy play manager Pete Gill sent 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 the homes side didn't make use of several corners.

They still looked on top though with Kempston restricted to breakaways but with just two minutes remaining St Neots were caught short in defence and Trey Charles drilled the ball home from 10 yards to give the Walnutboys all three points.

St Neots Town: Chadwick, Marfo, Smith, Switters (Rider 60), White, Milenge, Cowling (Heal 85), Watkins, Richard-Noel, Kwai Marsh-Brown (Dearman 78), Barker

Subs (not used): Abbott, Anderson.

Goals: Milenge 13, Cowling 44

Booked: Watkins 58, Cowling 76

Kempston Rovers: Knox, Laws, De Matos, Stratton, Massingham, Cooper, Burrows (Steele 72), Ludovica, Charles, Wielblad (Dahie 53), Bakogeorge

Subs (not used): Aderogu, Drakulic, Moscaritoco.

Goals: Wielblad, 9, 10, Charles 88

Booked: Massingham 52, Steele 90+1

HT: St Neots Town 2 Kempston Rovers 2

Referee: Joe Woolmer (Northampton)

Attendance: 150