Fighting spirit lifts Keynsham Town out of drop zone

THE Ks’ young first team have continued their recovery in the past month as they battle to move away from the relegation places in the Toolstation Western League Division One.

After a setback with a 3-2 reverse away to Hallen, where Brandon Oputeri and Jake Wilson notched for the Ks, they found themselves back into the bottom three.

But they certainly made amends the following Wednesday night with an excellent 4-2 away at Warminster Town, which was only their third victory on the road this season.

Three great team goals – from Oputeri, Jemar Thomas and Theo Jeremy – gave Keynsham a comfortable lead, but when the hosts pulled it back to 3-2, there were a few nerves amongst the Ks’ healthy away support. But a clinical fourth from Thomas in stoppage time clinched the victory.

Three days later, Keynsham followed up that win by putting Bishop Sutton to the sword 7-0. Goals came from Thomas (three), Oputeri, Jeremy, Javier Blazquez and Jaheim Allen.

Another quick turnaround saw local rivals Bitton visit Crown Fields on a cold, wet Tuesday night for the rearranged game after January’s abandonment. Despite the Ks scoring first through Oputeri, Bitton moved into a 3-1 lead after the break. Although Joe Davis scored to reduce the deficit, the Ks couldn’t rescue a point.

The race for the Ks’ Golden Boot is certainly hotting up, with Jemar Thomas leading the way with 15 goals, followed by Joe Davis (14) and Brandon Oputeri (13).

Most visitors to Crown Fields will have noticed the club’s refurbished tea hut, which is looking really smart.

The makeover follows a successful application to a scheme in which Howdens has partnered with the FA to invest £3 million in improving grass-roots football club’s kitchens, so they can serve their communities with food and re-freshments.

At a recent home game, the club welcomed representatives from both Howdens and the McGill family from IJ McGill Transport (who kindly sponsor the tea hut) as their guests to officially “open” the new tea hut.

Club secretary Jules French said: “This refurbishment further improves the fine set-up we have at Keynsham Town as a community football club.

“I must also mention the sterling work that my wife Terrie has undertaken over the past 10 years to get the tea hut and the quality of refreshments we offer up to what most people consider to be an excellent standard for a grassroots facility.”

The Ks reserves have consolidated their mid-table position in the Uhlsport Somerset County Premier Division, while the club’s ladies’ first team are also comfortably in sixth place in the FA Women’s South West Division One going into the last three months of the season.

Pictured, Tom Lillington, Howdens’ manager at Keynsham, watches as Lucy McGill cuts the ribbon at Keynsham Town’s refurbished tea hut