The question on everyone’s lips as they left the ground after the match was, ‘How could a team that played so well in the first half and take a 2-goal lead, end up losing?’. A good crowd of 119, considering that England were live on TV, turned up at the AJN Stadium and witnessed a remarkable turnaround.
The early exchanges were pretty even with both sides making some half chances to score. It was Clevedon however, who took the lead on 10 minutes when, from a defensive clearance, George King broke down the right wing and cut inside to put the goal beyond Ash Clarke’s reach in the home goal.
Keynsham soon bounced back and five minutes later were back on level terms when an Ash Clark clearance found Ben Dowdell in the middle of the park who ran on to beat Tom Creed in the visitors’ goal.
From then on, for the rest of the first half, Keynsham were rampant. On 28 minutes they took the lead. Good approach work by Ben Harris led to a pass to Matt Brown who made several attempts to score, but the ball eventually fell back to Ben who appeared to put the ball over the line with his chest.
The Ks had several good chances to increase their lead but it took until the 43rd minute before they did so. Ben Dowdell crossed the ball from the right and Matt Brown flicked it over the line from a narrow angle at the near post.
The second half was a complete contrast. Keynsham never looked like increasing their lead and substitutes Jay Murray and Morgan Williams brought the visitors back into the game with their attacking play. On 49 minutes Clevedon claimed a goal back when Elliot Nicholson netted. Just seven minutes later the visitors were level. Good work by Jay Murray down the left led to a pass to Lucas Vowles in the middle, who made no mistake in converting it.
The home crowd were now wondering if Keynsham could get back into the match, or even hold on for a draw. Substitutes Craig Wilson and Ton Knight were introduced but still Clevedon pushed forward. Time was running out, it looked as if both sides would share the spoils when a terrible defensive blunder led to Lucas Vowles being put clear on goal and he netted with ease.
So, Keynsham’s 100% home league record is gone. Clevedon upped the pace in the second half and the home side were unable to match it. I’m sure lessons will be learnt after this disappointing result and Keynsham will go on slightly wiser for the experience and secure at least a midtable spot by the end of the season.
For the neutral at the match it was a very entertaining evening. For fans of either side it was a gripping encounter and like a good Agatha Christie novel, it had a twist at the end.
Star performance: 1st half Ben Dowdell (Keynsham) for his lively attacking play. 2nd half Jay Muuray for doing the same thing for Clevedon and turning the match around.