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Keynsham Town 4 Swindon Town 3
Keynsham Town kept up the pressure on Oxford United at the top of the South West Combination with a win over Swindon Town at their AJN Stadium home.
They staged a storming second half comeback, having trailed 3-1 at the break, to clinch an exciting 4-3 win which keeps them four points behind the leaders with two games in hand.
In a frantic first half hour, Swindon gave an early warning through Ellie Maynard but stand-in goalkeeper Candy Hopson was out quickly to deflect the ball wide. Keynsham took a seventh minute lead when Leanne Lapham slid the ball past Robyn Levett after breaking free on the right.
Swindon were level when Catherine Reid struck a powerful drive from 25 yards on 15 minutes. The same player was denied a second by a good save from Hopson but Swindon were soon ahead when a deep Michelle Rich cross found Maynard for a close range header at the far post. The visitors promptly moved further ahead when another right wing cross, this time by Reid, was met with a glancing near post header by Rich on 27 minutes.
Keynsham reacted well to this triple setback and carved out a series of chances in the final minutes before the break. Hari Sabic fired high and wide on two occasions whilst Levett denied Lapham in a one-on-one encounter. Ellie Carter had a close range effort well held by Levett and Swindon went to the break with a two-goal cushion after an entertaining opening period.
The hosts carried on the forward momentum on the restart. Sabic brought out a fine save from Levett but from the resulting corner, Keynsham were awarded a penalty for a trip in the area. Lapham put the resulting spot kick wide but within two minutes, the home team reduced the arrears with a powerful close range effort by Kat Rusek. Lapham nearly equalised from an Aimee Clark free kick, set up by Abbie Britton, but the ball went narrowly past the post.
Swindon were unable to mount any serious threat on Hopson's goal and Keynsham dominated posession for long periods, forcing several corners. However it was a long range Ashley Reinecke shot which brought them level on 71 minutes, the ball rebounding in off the post.
The winning goal was as spectacular as the whole encounter had been, Rusek meeting a left wing cross by diving to guide a header home from twelve yards on 78 minutes. Swindon tried to find a way back into the match but the home team went closest to a late goal when a Sabic cross just evaded Lapham in front of goal.
With Oxford United beating Newquay 2-1, this was a vital three points for an understrength Keynsham who stiil have to visit the leaders and have a potentially challenging away trip to Exeter City scheduled for next week. After a very good first half performance, Swindon suffered late disappointment for the second week running after their narrow extra time FA Women's Cup exit to Gillingham.
Keynsham Town: Candy Hopson, Andreea Alexandru, Ellie Carter, Abbie Britton, Tracey Rouemaine, Ashley Reinecke, Agnieszka Ziolek, Aimee Clark, Hari Sabic, Leanne Lapham, Katarzyna Rusek. Subs: Daisy Pearce-Lyons, Phoebe Thomas.
Swindon Town: Robyn Levett, Kelly Nightingale, Lisa Coe, Amy Baker, Alison Witts, Kim Reeves, Catherine Reid, Chynna Collings, Kirsty Shell, Michelle Rich, Ellie Maynard. Subs: Laura Morgan, Cara Stacey, Sarah Wood.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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