Keynsham Town battle on in league and cup
After a mixed month of results in February, March saw Keynsham Town maintaining their mid-table position in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division, plus also making excellent progress in the Western League’s Les Phillips Cup.
The Ks ended February with another long away trip to Cornwall, this time to face Saltash United. With only 11 players available at kick-off, regular strikers Will Hailston and Dan Cottle had to be named as substitutes as they were held up in traffic - and what an entrance they eventually made!
After a tight first half with few clear chances, the hosts took the lead just three minutes after the restart.
Manager John Allen quickly made changes and brought Hailston and Cottle on in the 55th minute. Cottle was the provider in the 70th minute for Hailston to slot home from eight yards, and the move was repeated again just two minutes later to give Keynsham the lead. They proceeded to hold on with some typically resolute defending to claim all three points.
On Saturday March 5, Keynsham Town played host to Bridgwater United. The game was featured in the league’s first ever Match Day Live broadcast, which is still available to listen to online at www.toolstationleague.com.
Bridgwater scored the only goal of the first half, and the game was decided with 10 minutes to go. With Keynsham full-back George Rooke prone on the ground struggling to breathe after a hefty challenge, the linesman failed to bring to the referee’s attention the potential severity of the injury.
The game carried on despite Keynsham’s protests, and the visitors scored a second goal before Rooke could be treated, much to the Ks’ angst. A late third gave the scoreline a harsh reflection on the overall match.
The following Tuesday saw the Ks make the short trip over Stockwood Hill to face Hengrove Athletic in the Les Phillips Cup second round.
After a poor first period, it came as no surprise that it was Will Hailston who finally broke the deadlock on 55 minutes with a low shot from 20 yards.
However, the Ks then conceded a poor goal from a corner, and the game was in the balance until skipper Jack Dancey restored their lead with a glancing header. Substitute Jamie Noble then made the result safe with a fine solo goal in the last five minutes to give Keynsham a 3-1 victory.
Next up was the return clash with Saltash United at Crown Fields. The visitors took the lead midway through the first half with a long-distance strike, and despite Keynsham putting them under pressure in the second half, they held on for a 1-0 win to gain revenge for the Ks’ win in Cornwall only two weeks earlier.
Three days later saw the third-round tie in the Les Phillips Cup at Crown Fields, with Tytherington Rocks the visitors.
Will Hailston and Dan Cottle continued their goal-scoring exploits to give Keynsham a 2-1 half-time lead, before Jordan Metters and Hailston again (his 27th goal of the season) made made the result safe, despite a late goal by the visitors making it 4-2. The Ks’ reward was a home quarter-final on March 29 at Crown Fields against Almondsbury.
A somewhat depleted squad then made the second trip to Cornwall in a month, this time to face Millbrook. In a dour game, the hosts took the lead after 20 minutes, and in a disappointing performance the Ks didn’t really do much to threaten an equaliser.
The remaining home fixtures at Crown Fields this season are as follows:
Sat Apr 2: Reserves v Ilminster Town (League) 3pm
Easter Sat, Apr 16: Reserves v Stockwood Green (League) 3pm
Easter Mon, Apr 18: First Team v Brislington (League) 3pm
Sat Apr 23: First Team v Mousehole (League) 3pm
Until the next issue of the Voice, you can keep up to date with club news via the club’s website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.