Keynsham Town make solid return to action
AFTER a month-long break over Christmas and New Year enforced by opponents having Covid outbreaks, Keynsham Town have come through a difficult run of fixtures - with some creditable performances in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division, maintaining their top-half position, while also progressing in the Les Phillips Cup.
Ilfracombe Town were the first visitors to Crown Fields in 2022 and a decent crowd were treated to an eight-goal thriller. The Ks struck first through Jamie Noble, before two quick goals put Ilfracombe 2-1 up. Dan Cottle replied for Keynsham and then a fine team goal was finished expertly by Jordan Metters to make it 3-2 at the break. The visitors equalised straight after the restart, but Cottle with a superb second restored the Ks’ lead, before Will Hailston made the victory safe.
The following week saw a visit to Exmouth Town. An even first half was turned on its head just before the interval with the harsh dismissal of the Ks’ Jamie Noble for a second yellow card. Exmouth scored from the resulting free-kick and then went two-up not long into the second half. Substitute Callum Baker pulled a goal back with 20 minutes to go, but Keynsham could not grab an equaliser.
Runaway league leaders Tavistock were the Ks’ next opponents at home. Clear chances were few in an entertaining game dominated by both defences, but for the second successive week Keynsham had to play the second 45 minutes with 10 men.
This time defender Jordan Anstey picked up a second yellow in first-half stoppage time, but Ks young keeper Seth Locke plunged to his right to make a fantastic save from the resultant penalty. Both defences held firm in the second half to ensure the spoils were shared with a 0-0 scoreline.
A relatively short trip (by this season’s standards) was next on the agenda to Wellington. In a game where quality football was near impossible due to a bobbly pitch and strong wind, this was never going to be a game for the neutral. In a game of few chances, Keynsham looked like they were heading for a point, until a far post header five minutes from time condemned them to a 1-0 defeat.
Midweek saw a break from league action, as First Division Wells City visited Crown Fields for a Les Phillips League Cup first-round tie. A tight first half yielded little goalmouth action, but after the break the Ks finally broke through thanks to Dan Cottle. Will Hailston added a second, before a Cottle corner flew straight in late in the game to make the scoreline 3-0. Keynsham’s reward was a second-round trip to local neighbours Hengrove Athletic, with the match scheduled for Tuesday March 1.
A Millbrook side weakened by injuries and Covid made the long journey to Keynsham the following Saturday, and the Ks romped to an emphatic 6-0 victory. That man again, Dan Cottle, secured an excellent hat-trick and Will Hailston scored a brace, with Jamie Noble putting the icing on the cake.
After the club made a costly, abortive 400-mile round trip to Cornwall to play Mousehole (the game was called off late in the day despite assurances that it would go ahead), the Ks then hosted Street on a blustery Tuesday evening.
Following a tight first half, Will Hailston scored his 22nd goal of the season on the hour, which was enough to give the home side another valuable three points.
Until the next issue of the Keynsham Voice, you can keep up to date with club news via their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Pictured above, Dan Cottle scores a wonderful second goal against Ilfracombe Town