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Friday 29th December 2017 ko 19.45

Western League Division One

KEYNSHAM TOWN 5 (Brown 19 90 Box 64 M Curnock 75 Harvey 82)

BISHOP SUTTON 2 (Hind 45 Downes 90)

Att 184

Entry/Programme/ Mince Pie £6

They say the lord helps those who help themselves (so why do thieves go to prison?) so all credit should go to Jules French at Keynsham Town and Martin McConachie at Hengrove Athletic for coming up with a cute little marketing ruse. They spotted that Bristol City‘s game against Wolverhampton Wanderers the next day was being televised with a 5.30pm kickoff so moved their kick-offs to the Friday and Saturday at 1.30 pm respectively.

They offered half price entry to both City and Wolves season ticket holders plus those at both Yeovil Town and Bath City, neither of which were at home that weekend. The Western League’s publicity machine went into oversdrive and Robyn and I found an excuse to spend the day visiting family in Bristol then dragging her 3 nephews out for the game!

It is always a pleasure to see Jules, and it was good to see so many Western League committee and clubmen present too. I fully expected to see Martin and another  wonderful surprise was see Simon “Wurz” Wilkinson from Radstock Town too. At times it did feel like a Western Hop reunion!

Since Keynsham Town’s hop game the clubhouse has seen another refurbishment, with unfortunately the stadium owners finding no room for the club’s memorabilia. It would seem that the stadium’s owners are more interested in the women’s team that use the ground.

Nevertheless the bumper crowd enjoyed the excellent facilities and a convivial atmosphere. Those facilities of course include the 3G pitch, and make no mistake, that pitch is why the game was able to take place after heavy overnight rain and as to illustrate the point poor Hengrove’s game the next day was lost to a waterlogged pitch.

The crowd got royally entertained too with both teams blowing away Christmas cobwebs in the cold. Keynsham deservedly won it, with former Fry Club forward Matt Brown scoring twice including a rather opportunistic diversion with the sole of his boot for the game’s opening goal. It was by any standards a highly successful night for Jules and Keynsham with the win consolidating their position at the top of table.

Maybe finally they’ll finally get that promotion that both their management and facilities deserve. I’ll look forward to catching up with them on the next hop!