Following 3 defeats in all competitions Thame were on the hunt to get out of a bad run and continue pushing for the playoffs. Kempston start the weekend in 15th place and wanting not to get dragged into a relegation battle come March and April.
*** STARTING LINE-UPS ***
Kempston Rovers – Martin (GK), Akubuine, Hyde, Wright, Powell, Boland, Joseph, Shepherd, Crawley, Bush (Cpt), Tshikuna
Subs Used – Riley, McLeod and Sambu
Thame United FC – Hill (GK), Tack, Lynn, Essex, Carter, Ashworth, Fasanmade, Sturgess (Cpt), Goss, West and Peake-Pijnen
Subs used –
*** FIRST HALF ***
HT Score – KEMPSTON 1 – 1 THAME
In the early five minutes both teams were attempting to play long balls forward was intercepted by the defence of both sides. Kempston began to look threatening from set pieces with Thame unable to head the ball away in corners. Kempston created half a chance from Hyde’s throw in towards the forward which was then hit over the bar for a goal kick.
Kempston continued this style of play for the first quarter of a hour which led to key moment in the match. Whereby along ball down the middle towards Crawley led to a misjudged header by Carter which allowed Crawley to gain possession and run towards goal. Carter sprinted back but was deemed to have pulled Crawley back. Therefore, a penalty awarded and Carter was given a straight red card. After a quick pause in play Joseph stepped up and powered the penalty kick to Hill’s right which was parried and only just went over the line to give Kempston an early lead. Thame would now face an uphill struggle to get anything from the game.
Thame then produced one of their best period’s of the game due to their pressing and work rate. It took until the 23rd minute for Thame to be awarded their first corner. Whereby Goss put it into the box and it was cleared out. Tack was able to get on the ball and put an excellently weighted through ball towards the running West who calmly controlled the ball before putting it past Martin along the ground. For the rest of the half the game proved to be more open and possession became evenly matched. Thame resorted to counter and when in possession breaking quickly with both Goss and Fasanmade out wide. This pressure perhaps did result in Kempston then giving the ball away for the rest of the first half.
A threatening attack down the left by Kempston resulted in a full stretch challenge by Tack to win the ball. He was then able to pass up the wing to Fasanmade who would travel with the ball 20 yards before being fouled. The free kick was put into the box with pace by Goss when unmarked Essex lept up to head the ball narrowly wide of goal. The first half ended as a real physical battle with multiple fouls by both sides in midfield with very little created.
*** SECOND HALF ***
FT Score – KEMPSTON 1 – 1 THAME
Both side’s started the second half at a slower pace perhaps easing their way into the game and there was very little long periods of possession to begin with. The first chance of the second half fell to Thame when Martin saved the first shot which resulted in the ball coming out to West who scuffed the follow up but still managed to find the target until Kempston could get back and clear the ball off the line. Thame’s West continued to hold the line and ball when possible to encourage Goss and Fasanmade to attack the wings. This was similar to Kempston’s approach having McLeod as a lone striker for much of the second half with very little coming here his way.
Kempston nearly took the lead again when a cross by Shepherd into a dangerous area had to be cleared away by Lynn which proved to be Kempston’s best chance in the second half. This did enhance the team’s confidence and did encourage them to get forward more. One example when along run up the left by Hyde led to him getting the ball on the touch line and crossing the ball across the face of goal but Hill was able to collect the ball and stop the attack. One of Thame’s final attacks was a cross by Peake-Pijnen with his left foot which did find the timed jump of West who could only head it towards Martin. Thame’s players were extremely tired in the last 15 minutes, both Thame’s Ashworth and Sturgess in midfield were still closing down and trying to make tackles to break up play which was a great defensive partnership by the two. In the final five minutes the ref decided to not award Thame a penalty when Fasanmade appealed for being brought down in the box when he was running towards goal. Both teams seemed content with the draw at the final whistle and both teams were warmly applauded by sets of fans.
Following the result both teams will be satisfied with a point. Thame remain in 5th place following results elsewhere in the league and Kempston drop to 16th place but are now 11 points above relegation. Thame’s Fasanmade had a great debut with his defensive work rate and attacking runs and positional play.
*** MAN OF THE MATCH ***
As awarded by Kempston Rovers – #3 Cameron Hyde
*** KEY STATS ***
Shots on target – Kempston 2 – 6 Thame
Corners – Kempston 2 – 4 Thame
Yellow Cards – Kempston 1 – 0 Thame
Red Cards – Kempston 0 – 1 Thame
Penalties – Kempston 1 – 0 Thame
*** NEXT GAME ***
AWAY @ The BP MITCHELL STADIUM
Kick Off 15:00 – Welwyn Garden City V Thame United
*** Admission Prices @ The ASM Stadium ***
There is ample free parking at the ASM Stadium. The Club also has a fully licensed bar on site.