Clevedon Town bounce back with first-half blitz at Keynsham

Clevedon Town celebrate Ethan Feltham's goal at Keynsham

Clevedon Town celebrate Ethan Feltham's goal at Keynsham - Credit:

Clevedon Town claimed a superb 4-0 win at Toolstation Western League Premier Division rivals Keynsham Town in midweek.

After the disappointment of Saturday’s performance against Ashton & Backwell, Town released keeper Harley Wilkinson, Sam Hedges and Greg Yarde and just before the game completed the signing of 17-year-old Bristol City goalkeeper Luca Smith on work experience.

Despite having only just met the team for his first experience of senior football, the young keeper had an outstanding debut. His confidence quickly spread to the rest of the defence, providing the platform for the Seasiders best performance of the season and their first clean sheet.

The two teams came into the game with very different records, the home team with only one defeat in nine and Clevedon with just one win in eight, but Clevedon completely turned the formbook upside down.

Needing a reaction after Saturday, Clevedon took the game to the home side from the start, with Archie Heywood putting an ambitious backheel wide and Elliott Nicholson volleying just past the post when Syd Camper’s corner was headed clear by Keynsham’s Jack Dancey.

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However, for a moment Clevedon’s defensive jitters threatened to reappear as Jordan Metters played in Cal Baker but debutant Smith was down quickly to smother the ball after 10 minutes and five minutes later he produced a similar save from a deep cross.

Those two saves proved vital as Clevedon broke straightaway and Ethan Feltham was brought down 25 yards out. Camper made sure the Seasiders took full advantage as he hit a magnificent free kick around the wall into the top corner to give them the lead on 18 minutes.

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Camper turned provider for Clevedon’s second three minutes later when his backheel sent Feltham scampering through, evading two defenders to slot past Keynsham keeper Seth Locke.

There was no let-up for Keynsham as Camper and Feltham combined again, then Feltham and Nicholson set up Archie Ferris who fired over.

Another great Smith save low down from Baker and Heywood’s clearance off the line kept Clevedon’s lead intact and they went on to extend it on 28 minutes with the move of the match.

Alex Kemsley advanced down the left from inside his own half and set up Alex Camm who found a devastating cross which Camper headed powerfully over Locke into the roof of the net on 31 minutes.

Three minutes later Camper could have had a hat-trick when he got his head on another excellent cross from Nicholson, but this time he couldn’t beat Locke who then did well to push another dangerous free kick from Feltham round the post.

But rampant Clevedon were not to be denied and on 37 minutes Camper turned provider from yet another free kick curled to the far post which saw Glen Hayer get in front of his marker to nod home.

There was just time before the break for Smith to show his quality again with another save to ensure Clevedon went in at half time with a four-goal lead.

Clevedon replaced the hobbling Ferris with Josh Pitt at the break and Keynsham came out looking to make an early impact, with Smith forced to come out of his area to head clear a long ball, as a Keynsham free kick on the edge of the box was deflected over and then Smith produced a diving save to push Mike Grist’s header round the post.

The visitors heeded the warning signs and dug in to deny Keynsham any clear-cut chances and protect their lead. Content to break up play the game became increasingly fragmented but still the best two chances of the half fell to Clevedon.

Feltham saw another free kick pushed straight up in the air by Locke then in added time Camm won the ball in the centre circle, found substitute Ollie Babington on halfway line and seeing keeper Locke off his line he tried an audacious shot which was agonisingly close to going in, so the final score remaining as at half time.

Clevedon: Smith, Nicholson, Iles, Kingdon, Heywood, Hayer, Ferris (Pitt 46), Camm, Feltham (Babington 84), Camper, Kemsley (Davies). Unused sub: White.

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