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A look back at 2015-16 (January)

A look back at 2015-16 (January)

By Matthew Wilmot
16 May
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Part six of our delve into the archives saw only two league games survive the weather, both ending in crucial wins for the Walnut Boys.


A relatively short month in terms of fixtures, largely thanks to the weather after the turn of the year. Rovers began and ended the month with critical home wins in the league to move closer to Leicester Nirvana in the table. Similarities were being drawn with Leicester City in the Premier League at this point in the season, with one local news outlet putting the city's sporting fortunes down to official recognition of King Richard III's remains in the city.

Rothwell Corinthians 2.1.16 Home W 2-1 (78)
Kempston took advantage of Leicester Nirvana's postponement to move within three points of them at the top.
Corinths threatened an upset when they took the lead through Jordan Henson's 25 yard strike four minutes into the second half.
Sam Macrae levelled for the Walnut Boys two minutes past the hour mark.
As the clock ticked down Kempston looked set for a ninth draw of the season but on 90 minutes Macrae snatched his second to give the title chasers a vital victory in their quest for honours.
Deeping Rangers 19.1.16 Home Hinchingbrooke Cup First Round D 1-1 (5-6 pens) (unknown)
It was a long night at Hillgrounds where penalties were needed to settle the tie which was subject to a twenty minute delay to kick off.
Scott Mooney gave Deeping the lead three minutes before the hour mark with a volley from a Dan Flack cross.
Shane Bush levelled from a free kick with thirteen minutes remaining to take the tie to a shootout.
The ten regulation kicks were all scored, Mooney, Scott Coupland, Flack, David Burton-Jones and Luke Avis netting for Deeping with Ash Fuller, Ben Shepherd, Dom Marsala, Robbie Goodman and Charlie Flanagan successful for Kempston.
In sudden death Spencer Tinkler put Deeping in front and Shane Bush fired Kempston's sixth kick against the post to put Rangers through to the last eight.
Wisbech Town 23.1.16 Home W 2-1 (86)
The ten man Walnut Boys kept themselves in the title picture with this win over the Fenmen at Hillgrounds.
Kempston went ahead after twelve minutes with a well worked goal.
Dom Marsala's astute pass sent Robbie Goodman racing away on the overlap and his cross found Ash Fuller all alone to slot home.
Matt Sparrow immediately brought home keeper Martin Conway into action from a Rob Hughes pass but Kempston almost doubled their lead when the visitors failed to clear a Marsala cross and Jamaine Ivy arrowed a shot against the angle of post and bar.
Ivy turned a Marsala cross into the path of Sam Macrae whose shot was wide.
Wisbech had offered little in attack but their prospects were improved three minutes before the break when Kempston midfielder Ben Shepherd was red carded for a challenge on Sparrow.
Hughes fired a free kick into the defensive wall early in the second half while home appeals for a penalty were waved away as Ivy went down under Aaron Butcher's challenge.
Despite the numerical disadvantage Kempston posed the greater goal threat with Butcher going full length to save from Ivy and Josh Winters and Goodman putting set piece headers over the target.
Out of nothing Wisbech levelled after 77 minutes with a superb 25 yard strike into the top corner from Billy Smith.
Five minutes later Kempston won the contest. Seb Simpson sent Shane Bush clear of a static defence only for Butcher to save with his legs. Home substitute Michael Lyon showed a cool head, taking his time to finish with a curling shot into the corner out of the reach of defensive cover.

The month ended with Rovers four points behind Nirvana, but comfortably clear of the chasing pack thanks to games in hand. Holbeach in fifth looked potentially dangerous with their games in hand, but Kempston's unbeaten start to the season continued. Applications for promotion had been submitted and with Leicester Nirvana's ground not up to the required standard, they would not be going up. This was a real chance for Rovers to move on up.

PWDLFAGDPTS
1Leicester Nirvana25193379304960
2Kempston Rovers24168067204756
3Newport Pagnell Town28164862382452
4Deeping Rangers29156868422651
5Holbeach United22144448192946

While the chance of adding another Hinchingbrooke Cup to Rovers' side board had gone, the month ahead would see Kempston in UCL League Cup and North Beds. Charity Cup action, as well as an impending date at Hillgrounds with Nirvana...

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