Brown 2, Long 2


Gape, Clarke

BRIDPORT sustained a fourth straight league defeat as Keynsham Town held off a game Bees fightback to win 4-2 in their Toolstation Western League Premier Division clash.

Jamie Manley’s men remain 19th and embroiled in a scrap to avoid relegation ahead of a crunch double-header with bottom side Odd Down.

Bridport had a sniff of a point in Somerset despite an unfortunate first half in which fortune favoured the hosts.

Keynsham took an early lead when a Bridport corner was cleared and the Bees were slow to mark Matthew Brown who charged from midfield before beating goalkeeper Scott Wells-Burr.

Bridport rallied at 1-0 down and were awarded a penalty when Max Westlake was felled in the area, only for Lewis Clarke to see his spot-kick saved by Ash Clark and striker Tony Pinder to blaze the rebound over.

Clarke, seething at having his penalty kept out, then unleashed a missile against the bar before Max Westlake cut in from the right and thumped a shot that Clark miraculously tipped clear.

Clark’s heroics preserved Keynsham’s lead and the Ks doubled their lead just before half-time as Matt Long finished off a patient move.

Manley introduced Nathan Warren for Sam Handyside at the break and the Bees duly clawed themselves level.

Andrew Holmes’ long throw caused havoc in the Keynsham area as Aston Butcher’s flick-on was met by Will Gape to head past the in-form Clark for 2-1.

Luckless Clarke then saw a header cleared off the line but the forward finally got on the scoresheet when he volleyed home another flick-on.

Bridport exerted pressure on Town in search of a third, but Keynsham caught the Bees on the break with 15 minutes remaining, Brown nodding past Wells-Burr for 3-2.

And late on Keynsham added a fourth when Long raced onto a lofted through ball before dinking over the advancing Wells-Burr to seal victory.

Speaking post-match, assistant-manager Kevin Leigh said: “It’s hard to take, especially when you get back into the game in the second half.

“The lads showed a lot of courage, but unfortunately when you’re on top you’ve got to score goals.”

He added: “We didn’t start the game well, they were on top for a quarter of an hour and then we got back into the game.

“We didn’t play that well first half. It’s disappointing but the next three games are very, very important.”

Bridport visit Odd Down on Tuesday (7.45pm) before the return fixture on Saturday and a home clash with Wellington on January 28.

Bees: Wells-Burr, Haines, Butcher, Holmes, Salter, Westlake (Barfoot 75), Gape, Handyside (Warren 46), Cornish, Clarke, Pinder (Greenwood-Neate 85). Subs not used: Gall, McAuley.


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