This was an important mid table clash between Keswick and Staveley United in the Westmorland League Division II. The match was played out at Frenchfield in Penrith with Keswick’s home pitches still out of action because of the December floods. Keswick had a miserable start to this season, being knocked out of the Mason and Freeman Cup, and drawing just three matches out of their first eight games – and their losses included a 3-0 defeat by Staveley back in September. And then they lost their pitch and clubhouse to the floods! But Keswick’s season has improved, and last time out two weeks ago Keswick were 7-0 winners against Ambleside United, and not to be outdone, Staveley had a 8-4 win against Shap last weekend. Both Keswick’s first team and Eddie Thomson’s Reserves squad are ravaged by injuries and long term absences, but after a rallying call last week, Thomson had a good squad with a real mix of great new talent in the shape of Jake Sampson, Joppy Hodgson and Charlie Robson, and veterans including Anthony Stafford making a fair crack of being a stand in goal keeper, and former first team player Mark Lamb returning after nearly a year away from football.
Thomas Devesa scoresfor Keswick
After rain all morning, the weather was appalling, with a number of bursts of heavy rain, but the pitch was still fairly firm (at least initially) after the recent dry spell. The match started evenly but Keswick soon began to dominate and Staveley only really have themselves to blame for a rather flat performance. Whilst individual players had good games, and skipper Kaine Taylor was solid as a rock, despite some attempts to get near the Keswick goal, Staveley’s chances were few and far between. The first goal came from Keswick’s Thomas Devesa on 28 minutes after he picked up a looping ball fired into the penalty box and then perfectly timed his jump and headed home past Ben Daniels in the Staveley goal. The teams went into half time with Keswick clearly on top, although Staveley, who are a strong and physical team, had managed to test Stafford a couple of times, and the visitors had a goal disallowed after 40 minutes after Keswick’s Thomson was pushed in the Keswick box, somewhat unnecessarily, giving referee Les Nordon no option but to give Keswick a free kick instead of awarding the goal to Staveley.
Mark Lamb takes aim
The second half was much of the same – and Keswick always looked the stronger team. The home team’s attacks looked quicker and their defending more organised, and on 75 minutes Mark Lamb scored Keswick’s second goal with a powerful low strike into the bottom left hand corner of Daniel’s goal. By now Robson and Olly Dunn were making repeated runs at the Staveley defence, with Ewan Clark coming on for Keswick in place of the hard working Richard Hardman. In the last 10 minutes Staveley did start to string together some useful probes, but it was too little, too late. Mark Lamb capped off an eventful day by picking up a yellow card after kicking out at a Staveley player who held him back with just minutes to go. The game ended up being a fairly routine win 2-0 for Keswick, with an excellent game from Keswick’s skipper Jake Doolin. Keswick travel to a resurgent Braithwaite on Wednesday for a keenly anticipated local derby in the Lakes.
in other good news for Keswick, the club will receive £5,000 from Sport England’s Flood Relief fund. Similar sized grants were also made to the town’s rugby, cricket, bowls and tennis clubs and Keswick School. All the clubs suffered extensive flood damage after Storm Desmond. Cleator Moor Celtic FC will receive £4.,770. Keswick AFC will also receive £2,000 from Lions & Rotary Club joint appeal fund
In the Westmorland FA Benevolent Trophy semi final, Keswick’s first team triumphed 2-0 over Ibis in Kendal, and they now meet Carlisle’s Pirelli from Westmorland League Division II in the final, in a clash between two teams from the North of the County. Having missed out on both the Cumberland Cup final (Aspatria v Workington Reds) and the Senior Challenge Cup final (Cartmel v Milnthorpe Corinthans) Keswick will be keen to pick up some silverware. Their last semi final in the High Sheriff’s Cup is this Saturday when they play Sedbergh Wanderers in Penrith.
In the Westmorland League Division I, Ambleside Utd had an emphatic 6-1 win over Unisun Athletic, Appleby lost 3-5 to Kendal Utd, who remain glued to Keswick at the top of the League, now equal on points. Kendal County Reserves drew 2-2 with Penrith Reserves, Wetheriggs Utd went down 1-2 to visitors Sedbergh Wanderers and Windermere SC were clear winners over Lunesdale Utd, 6-1.
In Division II, Braithwaite made it a mixed day for Ambleside Utd with an excellent 6-1 over Ambleside’s Reserves, Carleton Banks run of bad form continued with a 1-4 loss away at Dent, Greystoke lost 2-4 to Endmoor KGR, Kendal Utd Reserves went down 1-4 to visitors Pirelli and Langwathby Utd drew 2-2 with Burneside in a hard fought and muddy match at Frenchfield.
In Division III, AFC Carlisle edged past Dent Reserves 2-1, Eden Thistle continued their league title charge with an 8-1 win away at Endmoor KGR Res, Kirkoswald Reserves were 5-2 winners over Ibis Reserves, Lunesdale Utd’s miserable day continued with their Reserves losing 0-2 to Ullswater Utd, and Penrith Academy drew 1-1 with Greystoke Reserves.
In West Cumbria in the Benevolent Cup second round , Cumberland Cup finalists Aspatria took lost 2-3 to Wigton Harriers after extra time, and Workington Athletic triumphed over Bransty, winning out 5-1. In the Quarter Finals of the Benevolent Cup, Cleator Moor Celtic were 3-2 winners over Heart of Liddesdale
Keswick Reserves 2016
Staveley United 2016
Keswick Reserves; Anthony Stafford, Jake Doolin (C), Joppy Hodgson, Adam Gaskell, Eddie Thomson, Charlie Robson, Thomas Devesa, Jake Sampson, Olly Dunn, Mark Lamb, Richard Hardman. Sub: Ewan Clark,
Staveley United: Ben Daniel, Robert Altinyollar, Jay Chorley, Kaine Taylor (C), Leigh Ellwood, Sam Naylor, Adam Thwaites, Martin Swainson, Sean Oliver, Sam Cousins, Lee Parsons. Sub: Mike Brierley.
Referee Les Nordon Cumbria Crack Man of the Match: Mark Lamb (Keswick)