Bill Robinson reports from Crown Fields…….
A game that was keenly looked forward too by both teams with the Hammers sitting top of the table and Keynsham second there was a lot of points and pride at stake.
Despite the lack of goals the game was still a classic encounter with both teams looking to take all three points.
West Ham had the better of the first period with chances being created but just failing to convert them into goals.
There was a penalty shout when Jess Barling looked to have been brought down inside the area but despite the Hammers appeals referee Joanne Stimpson waved play on.
Nikki Duncan standing between the posts due to Toni-Anne Wayne’s suspension looked confident and capable and pulled of a couple of decent saves to keep the Home side out.
In the last minute of the first half West Ham came very close to opening the scoring when Gemma Shepherd made room down the left flank, her cross went straight across the goal mouth beating everyone including the outstretched leg of Emma Thomas who must have been millimetres away from putting the ball in the net.
In the second half Keynsham began to come more into the game and as the game went on they began to dominate.
On 49 minutes Keysham had the best chance of the match, a cross from the left found Polly Wardle just inside the box with just the keeper to beat her shot was sliced and went wide.
From the subsequent goal kick Gemma Shepherd and Becky Merritt went on the attack and between them they produced an opportunity for Gemma but her shot went inches wide.
With just over 15 minutes left on the clock and Keynsham on the attack the referee made a strange decision by awarding a free kick just left of centre and about 22yards from goal, the West Ham protests failed to get any understanding. The kick was direct and goal bound but once again Nikki Duncan proved her worth by saving well.
Time was running out and West Ham started to defend deeper, allowing Keynsham to put more pressure on the goal but thankfully they held on to a well deserved draw, keeping them six points clear at the top of the table.
West Ham Ladies: Nikki Duncan, Joanne Woodgates, Jess Barling, Natalie Grafton, Rosey Sullivan, Carly Roache, Emma Thomas, Joanne Wosahlo, Tracey Duxbury, Gemma Shepherd, Becky Merritt.
Subs: Clare Rogers, Ruby Southgate, Jonna Kykkanaen, Satu Pesonen