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Women's Football News
Keynsham Town 4 West Ham United 1
Keynsham Town picked up the first three points of their FA Women's Premier League campaign with a sparkling display at the AJN Stadium, defeating West Ham United 4-1.
Leanne Lapham stole the show with a hat-trick but there were many outstanding performers on the day to clinch a deserved win. Already two goals to the good at the break, two penalties stretched the lead before a late Kelley Blanchflower consolation for the visitors.
Keynsham had aready shown attacking intent before Lapham's opener on nine minutes. Aimee Clark delivered a dangerous free kick from wide left and Lapham pounced on a half cleared ball to measure a half volley low to the bottom left corner of Toni-Anne Wayne's goal.
The Hammers keeper then had to be alert to deny Katarzyna Rusek after her initial clearance had been blocked. Blanchflower shot wide as the Hammers tried to fashion an equaliser but the hosts doubled their lead on 23 minutes, a goal which owed a great deal to Lapham's persistance. Set free by an excellent Vera Bernabe pass, Lapham evaded the last defender then followed up a rebound from Wayne's save to force the ball home despite the keeper's best efforts to retrieve the situation.
Nicole Nascimento De Medeiros came to Keynsham's rescue with a good save low to her right after careless defending had given Blanchflower a free run on goal on 36 minutes. Rachel Stowell got forward from midfield to close in on goal on 40 minutes but Wayne was out bravely to block her shot. Unfortunately, the keeper was injured in the collision and was unable to continue after the break. West Ham's Becky Merritt had two long range efforts to finish the half but Keynsham were
worth their two-goal interval advantage.
Skipper Abbie Britton nearly extended Keynsham's lead on 50 minutes with an effort similar to Lapham's opener but the ball was deflected just wide. The third goal was not long in coming, however, as Rusek was fouled and Lapham made no mistake from the spot kick on 52 minutes. West Ham brought on Cherrelle Albert to join Natalie Crinean and Blanchflower in attack and created a number of dangerous situations, but the home defence was very resolute and Nascimento De Medeiros handled well and was quick off her line to clear through balls.
The most impressive part of Keynsham's performance was the calm and measured way the team were able to move the ball, often using the impressive Julissa Rodriguez on the left as their outlet. Her pace and trickery caused the West Ham defenders no end of trouble and she nearly added a fourth goal on 77 minutes after ghosting past two defenders. It was substitute Hajrija Sabic, on for Lapham, who did score the fourth from the spot on 80 minutes after drawing a foul with clever footwork in front of goal, having already been twice denied by good saves by stand in keeper Jessica Parlane.
West Ham finally found a way past the home defence for Blanchflower to finish calmly on 83 minutes but Keynsham finished on the offensive, Clark rattling the post with a perfectly struck 25-yard free kick near the end.
All in all, it was a fine showing by Barrie Newton's team, who had beaten West Ham away in a League Cup encounter a fortnight before. Difficult travelling conditions had led to the visitors' late arrival and a delayed kick off but Keynsham showed such a detemined and positive attitude that they fully merited their first League win.
Keynsham Town: Nicole Nascimento De Medeiros, Ellie Carter, Hannah Davies, Abbie Britton, Aimee Clark, Rachel Cullen, Julissa Rodriguez, Vera Bernabe, Leanne Lapham, Rachel Stowell, Katarznya Rusek. Subs: Andreea Alexandru, Agnieszka Ziolek, Hajrija Sabic.
West Ham Utd: Toni-Anne Wayne, Vicky King, Jade Skillen, Sophie Reed, Hayley West, Emily Masters, Katie Bottom, Lindsey Morgan, Natalie Crinean, Becky Merritt, Kelley Blanchflower. Subs Cherrelle Albert, Zoe Lipley-Hinton, Jessica Parlane, Lily Mellors.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
(top) Becky Merritt shields the ball from Abbie Britton
(middle) Hari Sabic turns away from Emily Masters
(bottom) Julissa Rodriguez is pursued by Katie Bottom
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