Boro’ have a fairly even record against Kempston Rovers – an opponent during our time in the United Counties League. A 4-0 win at home is what gives our goal difference the edge over The Walnut Boys. Otherwise, it’s one win apiece and a couple of draws from our four meetings. Our time together came to a premature close after they were relegated from the Premier Division at the end of the 1982-3 season. By the time they returned, we’d gone…
In 2004, the club changed name (slightly) to AFC Kempston Rovers and enjoyed a pretty manic shift in fortunes until changing back in 2016; ending the 2007-8 campaign bottom of the table and conceding 149 goals. In the 2015-6 season, however, they scored 111 goals and lost just once on the way to the title. That summer saw them change their name back and join the Southern League for the next chapter in their story.
The Walnut Boys (yes, really) are another proper blast from the past. And we’re talking United Counties League here. Our time in that competition was, as you know, short. Boro’ have now spent the same amount of time in League Two as they did the UCL. For Kempston, however, the association was a much longer one. In fact, this is the first season in 1953 that the Bedfordshire side have had a change of scenery. We’ll come back to that later, though. Right now, we’re here to talk about our shared past – and it begins at Halloween 1981.
31 October 1981 – the first time Kempston Rovers and Stevenage Borough went into battle with each other. It came about, clearly, after Boro’ went up to the United Counties League Premier Division. The match finished 0-0. And that’s as much as we can say on that front. Goals did follow, however. The second meeting (and return leg at BHW) was another stalemate; Malcolm Ward getting us off the mark in front of goal in a 1-1 draw. It was perhaps fitting both games ended level – the 1981-2 campaign saw us finish in 12th. Kempston ended up 11th.
How to get to Kempston Rovers – Travel Information – Distance: 29 miles
Go north on the A1(M) and A1 to Sandy, before forking left off to join the A603; heading towards Bedford. After 7.1 miles (and by PC World), take the first exit at the roundabout onto the A5140 Rope Walk. At the following roundabout, take exit three for the A6. Then, bear left for the A5141.
Keep going past Bedford Hospital on the left and onto the B531 Kempston Road; turning right onto Hillgrounds Road next. The ground is on the right after the swimming pool.
Leave the station and turn right onto Ashburnham Road, before making your way right onto Ford End Road at the end. Go across the bridge and keep going down Ford End Road until you pass Raleigh Street on the left. At this point, a left turn takes you onto a footpath that’ll take you down to the river and across.
It eventually brings you out onto Bedford Road. Turn right and continue on until you get to Hillgrounds Road on the right.
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