Town pay the penalty as losing run goes on

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United Counties League

Premier Division

AFC Kempston Rovers 2

Sleaford Town 1

The opening period was a tale of two penalties, one missed by Town and the other converted by Kempston.

Yet the Sleaford side had the better chances in a first half that switched from end to end, although the first real opening did go to Kempston. It followed a corner that was met by Danny Watson, his header saved on the line by keeper Doug Lindberg.

Jamie Shaw went past his marker but his angled effort was cleared off the line and Liam Tunstall took a ball on his chest and sent a volley at the keeper.

A superb pass from Kris Jones found Tunstall and his angled shot almost caught the keeper unawares as he fumbled the ball against the foot of the post and grabbed it at the second attempt.

On 33 minutes there was a golden opportunity for Town to take the lead when Tunstall was felled inside the box. He stepped up to take his fifth penalty of the season but keeper Bodger went down low to his left for a superb save. Seven minutes later Lindberg fumbled a low ball and in attempting to salvage the situation Jones was penalised for a foul. The game’s second penalty was awarded and Watson stepped up to convert.

Right on half-time Tunstall had the chance to make amends as another through ball from Jones sent him clear but, as the keeper came out, he blasted his effort way over the top.

Kempston had the better of the second half, until the latter stages. Shaw crossed for Paul Ward to hit on the bounce at the keeper. At the other end Watson delivered a first-time shot to bring a fine save from Lindberg. Shaw then retired to give Harry Ginniff his senior debut.

Kempston had a good chance when striker Clark hit over from a cross by lively McCrea, and Lindberg saved again from an angled shot by Watson.

The goal that virtually settled the issue came on 78 minutes. It followed a simple cross from the home right flank with an unmarked McCrea having an equally simple finish at the far post to make it 2-0.

Town pressed hard and created a few openings. Defender Joe Braithwaite hit over the top and substitute Casey Kemp tried a direct free-kick that brought a superb tip over the top by the keeper. A corner by Max Wright was palmed against the bar with Paul Ward’s header scraped off the goal-line.

On 93 minutes Town scored the goal they deserved. Kemp crossed from the left and, in a gaggle of bodies, it was Michael Musson who turned in from close range for a goal his performance merited.

Town (4-4-2) D Lindberg; D Tunnicliffe, K Jones, J Braithwaite, A Fenton; M Wright, T Beadles, P Ward, J Shaw; M Musson, L Tunstall. Subs: H Ginniff, C Kemp.

l See Lloyd Harmston’s Town Comment column on page 55.