Heart-stopping finish as Rovers earn fine point

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Kempston Rovers came from two goals down in stoppage time to earn a magnificent 4-4 draw at champions-elect Royston Town in an exciting finish that no-one in red and white will ever forget.

Kempston had to be alert from the off with keeper MartinConway forced into two early stops, first from a corner that wasn’t cleared fully and the second from a wickedly curling free-kick.

The hosts, 15 points clear at the top of Southern League Division One Central, broke the deadlock on 12 minutes, when Michael Lyon was deemed to have fouled a Royston forward in the box. Scott Bridges dispatched the penalty low to Conway’s left as he went the other way.

This sparked Rovers into life, Jake Newman hit the bar after turning his man and shooting from well outside the box, while minutes later a delicate Luke Heneghan cross was nodded home by returning hero Shane Bush to level the scores.

Kempston pressed forward and had several chances to take the lead but it remained 1-1 at the break.

On 57 minutes Royston re-took the lead, Bridges surging into the area and after his shot was palmed away, it fell to Matt Nolan who tapped home, despite appearing to be offside.

Royston stretched their lead to 3-1 eight minutes later when neat interplay saw Nolan again through on goal to fire a low shot past Conway.

Rovers were forced into a change when Newman injured a shoulder after tangling with Royston sub Kaan Fehmi.

With 15 minutes left, Kempston caught a break as Royston keeper Joe Welch hit a terrible clearance straight to Heneghan who squared it to Ash Fuller and he netted his fourth goal in as many games to make it 3-2.

Less than two minutes later, Royston thought they had killed the game off when Ryan Ingrey found himself ahead of the defence from a clearance to lob the ball neatly over Conway for 4-2.

But as the clock wound down, Rovers found something special.

In the 89th minute, a free-kick near the Royston box broke down, but Lyon found sub Sam Johnson who danced past two defenders before curling the ball into the far corner off the post for 4-3.

Entering stoppage time, Johnson found himself free on the wing and put a fantastic cross over for Robbie Goodman, who saw his header cleared off the line for a corner.

From the set-piece, Fuller found Seb Simpson, who headed home to spark wild scenes among the travelling fans in what proved to be the last touch of the game.

This Saturday Rovers host Uxbridge (3pm).