KEMPSTON ROVERS 5 HOLBEACH UNITED 3: Glen Maddison felt like he was watching a basketball match on Saturday as he watched his Tigers edged out in an eight-goal UCL Premier Division thriller.
It was end-to-end stuff at Kempston, with the hosts handing Holbach their first league loss in almost exactly a month – a result that sees them leapfrog the Tigers in the table.
Steph Kemoagna (7) fired the Walnut Boys ahead against the run of play, before an own goal hauled Maddison’s men level on the half hour. Parity didn’t last long though, as Scott Joseph (38)and Joel McCormick (42) put Rovers in command at the interval.
Tommy Treacher (50) gave the Tigers hope of a comeback, but Joseph’s second (68) and a Lucas Kirkpatrick effort (72) made Ian Dunn’s last-minute effort academic.
A rueful Maddison felt that his side deserved something from the game. He said: “It was a strange one. When we arrived I had a nasty feeling that the lads weren’t really up for it.
“But we totally dominated early on and had plenty of chances. They then went up the other end and scored with their first shot.
“We did well to get back into it, but two quick breaks put them 3-1 up and I was left scratching my head.
“I still thought we could win the game at half time and that looked likely when Treach pulled one back.
“It happened again though and they scored two more to kill us. You have to give Kempston credit, they probably took their first five chances while we wasted plenty. It was like a basketball game at times.
“Sadly, the work rate and tempo that has seen us be so effective in recent weeks wasn’t there and it cost us.”
The Tigers started superbly at Hillgrounds Leisure and Treacher twice forced smart saves from the home keeper in the opening exchanges. But it was Rovers who broke the deadlock when Kemoagna squeezed a shot under the body of Leigh Overton.
Holbeach continued to boss the match though, with Treacher firing just wide and Pedro Sevilha within a whisker of levelling.
They eventually got their reward thanks to an own goal after good work from Adam Rothery, but Kempston’s quick double before the break really stopped them in their tracks.
Rothery forced a save early in the second period as Maddison’s men tried to get back into the game, before Treacher went one better and netted a deserved second goal.
There was to be no comeback, however, as Kempston netted twice to seal it.
Two impressive subs combined to grab a late third for Holbeach when Frazer Bayliss delivered for Dunn to net at the near post – but it was too little, too late.
Meanwhile, Maddison expects talented teenager Jordan Keeble to sign forms with the Tigers this week after he turned 16. He hopes to give the prolific striker a few chances in both the first team and reserve side before the end of the season.
Tigers: Overton, Leggett, Warfield, Murrell, Shipley, Sevilha, Sturman, Rothery, Hollingworth (Bayliss 69), Waumsley (Dunn 73), Treacher (Relf 80).
• Saturday: Tigers v Desborough (3pm).