Keynsham Town 1 - 0 Portishead Town
Saturday 16th December 2017
With top of the table Keynsham having netted 14 times in their last two home games and Portishead laying bottom of the pile, it was not unreasonable to expect another possibly embarrassing goal haul at Crown Field last Saturday writes Kerry Miller.
In the end the home side won by a single goal just past the half hour from Matt Curnock and with a following wind and some good fortune Portishead could easily have gone home with a draw after a battling performance on the 4G pitch. Possit are currently coached by former Bristol City favourite Alan Walsh and it shows as he has got them playing good football when given the chance and their defence coped well with the free-scoring Keynsham attack.
Ks were without their player of the month Craig Wilson but still fielded a strong side which on paper should have easily dispatched a visiting side which arrived with only three wins and 23 goals from 21 games and some eight points away from safety. They began well with James Hughes setting up Luke Mortimore who drove wide then Harrison Williams escaped and was only denied by Matt Dunk’s save with his legs. Town didn’t take long to get going and utilising the full width of the pitch Nathan Curnock cut in but was denied at the expense of a corner.
Portishead showed they still had confidence enough to take on the leaders and when Mortimore robbed a defender and got to the byline his cross went out for a corner which brought a header from Sam Trueman which lacked power and was saved by Dunk. Trueman then had another effort saved but Keynsham were having far more of the possession and a nice move ended with James Ollis driving inches over. Nathan Curnock then had acres of room down the left but his final pass was wasted before at the other end Alex Twiggs showed some good skill to create a chance which was deflected wide on the half hour.
Jason Adams then somehow nodded a corner over the bar from virtually underneath it and for a moment a few in the home support were beginning to wonder if this was a game which might get away but Matt Curnock was to settle nerves two minutes later. James Batchelor slung over a long cross from not far off the clubhouse steps and when it was nodded back Curnock reacted quickest to stab home past Ryan Scott tp give his side the lead.
Portishead were not done and on the break James Clark’s shot was saved by Dunk, who was brave to dive on the rebound, taking a boot in the process but with no damage done Keynsham led at half-time.
Curnock was already limping before the half time whistle and didn’t make it after and while they were reorganising Trueman brought a diving save out of Dunk but the corner was cleared. Keynsham sub Kyle Box was playing wide on the left and immediately was in the game as his pace took him away but Batchelor mistimed his drive from the pass and the chance went astray.
Portishead sensed they were still in the game as Keynsham were at times looking lethargic and Clark shot on the turn but Dunk was still on his game and saved well. At the other end a fine home move ended with Batchelor crossing for Box to head just wide but Portishead refused to go under and Twiggs’ shot on the turn was saved by Dunk, whose long drop kick found James Ollis racing away but his shot went for a corner. On the hour Scott again denied Box and then flew across to punch away another cross as Keynsham woke from their slumbers, with Matt Brown, who didn’t see a significant amount of the ball, denied by Scott. The same man then produced a stunning stop to keep out Scott Saunders but it was in vain as Portishead’s last real chance saw Twiggs’ free-kick graze the near post with Dunk beaten and the points stayed at home.
With Roman Glass dropping points at home to Chard Town, Westbury United went second thanks to a 5-0 win over Corsham Town but Keynsham are four points to the good at the top and with a home game with Ashton and Backwell on Saturday and a trip up the road to Oldland on Boxing Day they are in good shape to close out the year at home to Bishop Sutton on Friday week.