Ups and downs for Ks in close contests
KEYNSHAM Town enjoyed mixed fortunes in March before matches were suspended due to the coronavirus.
First there was a trip to Roman Glass St George on their 3G pitch. The play was typical Western league football - end to end, very competitive and entertaining.
Keynsham probably had the better of the early chances, but it was St George who opened the scoring on 18 minutes. A long ball beat the Keynsham defence and the St George no 9 ran on to beat advancing keeper Ash Clark.
Keynsham hit back within a minute, when a corner was powerfully headed home by Mike Grist.
Then disaster struck on 33 minutes.
Another through ball stretched the Ks’ defence and Jordan Anstey brought down a St George player.
A red card was inevitable as he was the last man, although luckily the foul took place outside of the box and the resulting free kick was cleared.
Scott Saunders took Jordan’s place in the back four and Matt Brown played a deeper role, leaving Troy Walters as the lone striker.
St George fought hard to make their numerical superiority tell, and only a string of first-class saves from Ash Clarke kept Keynsham level at half-time.
Play was fairly even after the interval, although Ash Clark made more great saves and Keynsham were lucky to see a St George shot rebound off the post with Clark beaten.
As 90 minutes approached, it looked like Keynsham would take a well-earned point. But on 94 minutes, the St George no 14 shot from a crowded penalty area and the ball glanced off the post into the net, making it 2-1.
Next, Keynsham entertained newly promoted Street and, as expected, the match was an even affair.
The home side took the lead after 25 minutes, when Mike Grist headed Harley Purnell’s in-swinging corner across goal for Troy Walters to nod home.
Keynsham made most of the attacking moves towards the end of the first period but failed to increase their lead. In fact, Ash Clark was called upon to block a shot from Sam Smith on 45 minutes to keep the Ks in front.
After the restart, Keynsham went close when Matt Brown had a shot saved, then Troy Walters put a ball across the face of the goal with which Jamie Noble just failed to connect.
After 60 minutes, Keynsham made a double substitution, with Stef Lee and Craig Wilson replacing Troy Walters and Jamie Noble.
Immediately after this move, Street equalised when their number 17 flicked it past Ash Clark.
Disappointment was short-lived for the home fans when referee Richard Lawrence awarded Keynsham a penalty for what looked like an innocuous tackle on Matt Brown.
But Mike Grist, who up until then had had a great game, shot too tamely, allowing Liam Norris to save.
Keynsham refused to be unsettled, kept pushing forward and forced several corners. Eventually Harley Purnell took one that resulted in a similar goal to their first, with the ball being headed back from the far post for Craig Wilson to nod in from short range.
Street came more into the match following this setback, but the Keynsham defence stood firm, ably led by example by Mike Grist, to secure a 2-1 victory.