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Women's Football News
Keynsham Town 2 Plymouth Argyle 0
Keynsham Town recorded their fourth home victory in a row with a 2-0 defeat of Plymouth Argyle in the Premier League Cup.
Two first half goals from the in-form Kelly Aldridge proved decisive but a host of other chances were missed in a totally dominant first half by the hosts, allowing Argyle the chance to fight back, which they did with a far better showing after the break.
Aldridge had a very busy first half, running past defenders almost at will and striking a series of dangerous crosses with her left foot. The first chance fell to Katarzyna Rusek who hit a powerful shot inches wide, then Aldridge set up Kayleigh Sage whose volley narrowly cleared the bar. Constant Keynsham pressure finally told on fifteen minutes when Aldridge netted from close range in a goalmouth scramble after a corner.
The scorer could have soon added to the opener, being denied by the feet of Plymouth keeper Rebekah Kyle, then firing inches over from ten yards. Naomi Clipston went close on 25 minutes as Keynsham bombarded the Argyle goal. Two more fine saves by Kyle denied first Aldridge, then Polly Wardle, but the rebound from a third diving parry was slotted in by Aldridge on 35 minutes.
Plymouth had been non existent in attack until the 40th minute when Natasha Knapman was foiled by a very alert Amber Thornell as the Argyle striker broke clear on the right of the box. Keynsham rounded off a powerful half with Clipston rattling the bar from 15 yards.
Plymouth could have been several goals in arrears at the break but rallied well on the restart, managing to keep a much tighter rein on the flying wingers and posing a few problems of their own. Leading scorer Knapman went very close to halving the deficit with a clever shot which hit the post and Katie Middleton used her experience and powerful set piece delivery to threaten the home defence at times.
It was not until the final ten minutes that Keynsham found their passing rhythm again and this time it was Wardle who provided a series of crosses from the right, none of which could find a finisher. Substitute Leanne Lapham went very close to adding a third but was denied by a fine double save by substitute keeper Elizabeth Stanley.
Next week brings the visit to Crown Field of Premier League Champions and current league leaders Sunderland in the Fifth Round of the F A Cup before the final League Cup group match against Portsmouth. Plymouth must take heart from an improved second half but this defeat makes qualification to the League Cup knockout stages very unlikely and Premier League survival, possibly at Keynsham's expense, is a more realistic target with three matches still to play.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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