The crowd of 114 at the AJN Stadium were entertained to an end to end match which swung one way then another and then back again.
In the first few minutes Jamie Noble burst through in the inside-right position but his shot was parried for a corner. From it the ball was swept back to Mike Grist whose shot soared over the bar. Minutes later, a similar move from a corner was passed back toMike Grist whose low goal-bound shot was not cleared and Matt Brown prodded it home from close range. Ten minutes later a Craig Wilson volley went just wide of the visitors’ goal and minutes later again Jamie Noble’s run down the right ended with him shooting over. A Bridport corner was then cleared off the line by Matt Long but only partially cleared as the visitors hit the bar with another attempt.
On the half hour Bridport were awarded a penalty when a bouncing ball hit a Keynsham arm, but Lewis Clarke’s spot kick was well saved by Ash Clark, diving low to his left and Tony Pinder, following up but well challenged by retreating Keynsham defenders, skied it over. Keynsham could have increased their lead, but Matt Long fired over from close range before Bridporthad another good shot from Max Westlake touched over the bar by Ash Clark. An otherwise fairly even first half went furtherKeynsham’s way when on 43 minutes Matt Long netted for 2-0from just inside the box, following a slick passing movement.
After the interval Bridport’s Lewis Clarke floated a cross over to Sam Handyside, but Matt Long cleared his shot off the line. Minutes later Matt Long’s shot was saved and Jamie Noble hit the rebound over the crossbar.
Bridport finally got the goal that their play deserved on 54 minutes when William Gape was allowed a free header in the 6-yard box and he beat Ash Clark at the far post. Keynsham took off Cam Rickets to be replaced by Sam Downes and in an attack minutes later a Matt Brown shot was well saved to his left by ‘keeper Scott Wells-Burr. Andrew Holmes’ long throw-ins had tested the home defence on several occasions, but in the 70thminute another was not cleared and Lewis Clarke converted to equalise. The home fans were stunned as Keynsham had lost a two-goal lead in 15 minutes.
Keynsham manager John Allen made another change bringing on Troy Walters to replace Craig Wilson and he had an immediate impact on the play. Keynsham looked the brighter side and kept up the pressure with Matt Long just failing to convert two good chances. Troy Walters was causing Bridport a lot of trouble on the right and after 77 minutes he swung in a dangerous cross from the right which found Matt Brown at the far post and his well-timed, powerful header left Scott Wells-Burr in goal, with no chance.
Minutes later Keynsham put the game to bed, when Matt Long found himself with space on the edge of the penalty area and hecleverly beat the advancing Wells-Burr with a deft lob. Luke Banfield replaced Jamie Noble in the last change. Troy Walters controlled the ball well and aimed a pass to Matt Brown but Wells-Burr cut out the dangerous attempt quickly. Matt Brown could have completed his hat-trick in the 90th minute, but just failed to get on the end of another move started by Troy Walters.
This was another fine attacking display by Keynshamwhich once again excited the home fans, but it could have been so different once they let a two-goal lead slip. The substitutions made by John Allen seemed to re-invigorate his side who then went on to win comfortably.
Starman: Matt Brown (Keynsham).
Matt Brown converts Troy Walters’ cross for Keynsham’s third goal – Phot credit Mike Slucutt