AFC Bournemouth title hopes take a blow at the Vitality Stadium: Bournemouth 1-1 Keynsham

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Bournemouth were held to a 1-1 draw against Keynsham Town in front of 6,162 fans at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

A first half volley by Vicky Vipond gave the visitors a shock lead going into half-time, but a Gemma Hillier driving shot was enough to give the Cherries a point.

Bournemouth dominated the game, but lacked the cutting edge to finish their chances and keep up with Exeter in the title race.

Steve Cuss made two changes to the side that beat Maidenhead United 3-0 a week ago, with Kelci Bowers and Gemma McGuiness replacing Olivia Venditto and Alisha Buckingham

The first chance of the game went to the hosts two minutes in, Bournemouth played a corner short to Katie James, she cut in past the defender and got a shot off that was saved well by Charlotte Haynes.

The first quarter of an hour was dominated by the Cherries, with some really nice play down the right-hand side from Butler and Bowers, but Bournemouth failed to trouble Haynes past the odd hopeful shot.

But it was Keynsham who took the lead in the 20th minute as Naomi Clipston delivered a wonderful free kick from just inside the Bournemouth half, it was met by the right foot of Vicky Vipond who fired the ball past Kosinska to give the away side a shock lead.

Ten minutes later Bournemouth had a penalty shout when Molly Barron-Clark drove into the box and rouletted around the Keynsham defended, she seemed to be clipped by Mia Daly but despite the shouts from the Vitality Stadium crowd but referee Daniel Forrester waved away the appeals immediately.

Abby Jones then nearly scored a wonder goal as she grabbed the ball from left-back and ran at the Keynsham defence, she beat four players including a nutmeg as she reached the box, but her shot was blocked.

Just before the break Barron-Clark picked up a yellow card for dissent.

Bournemouth had the best chance of the game in injury time as McGuinness crossed the ball in from the right, it fell to Butler who was free inside the box but her shot was well saved by Haynes.

The Cherries went into the break trailing thanks to Vicky Vipond’s wonderful volley midway through the first half side. Aside from that, Keynsham mostly played on the back foot, but defended very well to keep the Bournemouth attack at bay. Steve Cuss’ side were definitely the better side, but just lacked the cutting edge.

Cuss made two changes at the break. Kenni Thompson and Olivia Venditto replaced Bowers and Butler.

Seven minutes into the second half the away side made a change of their own with Lily Reed making way for Nellie Bullock.

In the 58th minute Bournemouth got their first big chance of the half, some nice play by the Cherries lead to Lucy Cooper receiving the ball with her back turned to goal, she spun and shot straight at Haynes.

The hosts then made a change with Maisy Smith making way for Erin Bloomfield.

Bournemouth had a flurry of chances with Cooper forcing a good save out of Haynes and Bloomfield nearly making an instant impact, with her header striking the crossbar.

Keynsham then made another change, with Hannah Price being replaced by Sophie Price.

Bournemouth then had another golden chance, with Thompson’s cross meeting an unmarked Bloomfield but she couldn’t direct the ball towards the goal.

Bournemouth finally broke through in the 74th minute. After some play by Thompson down the left, the ball fell to Gemma Hillier on the edge of the box. The captain thundered the ball past Haynes and into the bottom corner and the Vitality Stadium crowd erupted.

With ten minutes to play the Cherries made their final changes, with McGuinness and goalscorer Hillier made way for Alisha Buckingham and Chloe Gilroy.

In the 85th minute Bournemouth got a free kick on the edge of the area. Bournemouth played a clever set piece routine but Thompson's shot was saved excellently by the outstretched leg of Haynes. 

With a minute to go the visitors made their final change with Naomi Clipston coming off for Olivia Bees.

The second half was a lot like the first in that Steve Cuss' side dominated play, but lacked the cutting edge to make it count. Gemma Hillier's strike was enough to keep the Cherries undefeated, but the hosts will be disappointed that they didn't walk away with all three points. It's also a massive blow to Bournemouth's promotion hopes, with title rivals Exeter winning their game and extending their lead at the top of the table to eight points.