FA VASE 2R Liskeard Athletic 2 Keynsham Town 3

buildbase fa vase logoLISKEARD pushed Keynsham all the way before succumbing to their Western League premier opponents in an enthralling FA Vase tie at Lux Park on Saturday.

The Blues, unbeaten in 13 games in the South West Peninsula League, came up against a top six team full of quality and fell just short.

Liskeard's big chance came in the opening 20 minutes when Keynsham were all over the place at the back but the Blues missed several opportunities and scored only once.

Keynsham then found their feet with two goals in five minutes to take control of the tie and might have been further ahead before half-time.

Liskeard started the second half strongly and had James Lorenz’s shot gone in rather than crashing against the bar after 47 minutes, the outcome might have been different.

Keynsham’s third goal in the 72nd minute all but made them safe and although Liskeard pulled one back quickly, the visitors held on to take their place in the third round for the first time in 18 years.

Liskeard joint manager Martin Hodge said: “It was not the result we wanted but I was happy with the way we played.

“There could have been a different outcome if we had put away one or two other opportunities but now we look forward to the Falmouth game on December 4 at home, which should be a good one.

“Hopefully we will have good support that day as I am sure we will. The support has been great so far this season which helps the side.”

Saturday’s tie started with both teams looking to make an early breakthrough and only a brave save from Luke Gwillam prevented Dan Cottle putting the visitors ahead after 11 minutes.

That was the signal for Liskeard to step up the pressure at the other end and Keynsham keeper Seth Locke had to be at his best to deny Ben Collins, Nick Aplin and Harvey Mullis.

The Blues swept ahead in the 19th minute when a controlled clearance from inside his own half by Mullis fell nicely to the feet of Aplin.

His fierce shot could only be parried away and Ben Holter was on hand to score his fourth goal in two games since joining the club.

It was almost 2-0 five minutes later as James Lorenz, returning after a hamstring strain, took the ball around Locke but his angle was tight and his shot rolled into the side netting.

Eight minutes later Keynsham were level thanks to a Will Hailston penalty after Mullis had tripped Jordan Metters, and five minutes after that the visitors were ahead as Hailston’s excellent cross from the left was cleverly flicked in at the near post by Stef Lee.

Liskeard were clearly rocked and could have been further behind just before half-time. Metters jinked his way into the box and curled a shot around keeper Gwillam but inches wide of the far post.

Lorenz then saw his 47th minute shot hit the bar before Keynsham broke to the other end and Metters found himself one-on-one with Gwillam. But the Blues keeper made another top notch save.

A spell of Liskeard pressure failed to bring an equaliser and Keynsham took advantage by making it 3-1 in the 72nd minute with a quality finish from man-of-the-match Hailston.

To their credit, the Blues were soon back in the tie as Macauley Thorp scrambled the ball over the line after a corner had caused problems for the Keynsham defence and with 15 minutes left it was game on.

The nearest Liskeard came to an equaliser was eight minutes from time when a superb left-foot cross by Mullis out on the right caused left back Luke Banfield to slice an attempted clearance towards his own net but Locke, at full stretch, tipped the ball over the bar.

Keynsham used all of their know-how and organisation skills to see the tie through.

Their all-round delight and relief at the final whistle illustrated how far Liskeard had pushed them.

Liskeard L Gwillam, H Mullis, B Holter (J Rowe 56), J Podmore, D Peel, M Gilbert, J Lorenz (K Burns 74), N Aplin (L Robinson 82), J Woods, B Collins.

Subs not used: H Bell, W Tucker, M Outtram, R Cleveland.

Goals: B Holter 19 M Thorp 75

Keynsham S Locke, G Rooke, L Banfield, S Gregory, J Anstey, J Dancey, M Martin (S Jones 81), J Metters (M Brown 77), W Hailston, S Lee, D Cottle (J Noble 88).

Goals: W Hailston 33 pen, 72 S Lee 39

Referee Aidan Madden.

SWSN Stars Liskeard – Jarrad Woods; Keynsham – Will Hailston.

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