In the same fixture last season Keswick produced a stunning display to send the seasiders home on the end of a 6-1 drumming although had the final say on West’s season in the reverse, defeating KWC which ended their hopes of promotion. In essence it is fair to say that both sides are evenly matched and the points on offer could have easily been added to either team’s league tally.
Keswick remain third in the league after disappointing back to back defeats but remain within touching distance of the pair infront while Blackpool hover surprisingly only mid-table.
The game began at a largely frantic pace with both sides jostling for an early upper hand; Wests attacking on the counter as usual but faced against a side equally set up for a counter attacking style. Neither side really dominated the opening section of play so it could be deemed unfortunate that Keswick fell behind first. B‘Pool were awarded a short corner and converted past Harris via a huge deflection off an excellent Chris Mattear block.
The game remained a tight knit affair but Keswick began to edge their way back into the game and had a couple of half chances but nothing materialised. However Wests did eventually level the tie thanks to the captain Morgan who intercepted a misplaced ‘Pool pass midway inside their half and dribbled seemingly effortless past three defenders before slotting the ball home to cap a wonderful solo run.
Keswick remained the stronger team thereafter but fell behind once again courtesy of another short corner leaving the home side fearful that their streak of playing well but ending up on the losing end could continue. These fears were soon eradicated as KWC equalised with a sublime team goal with Morgan, Cook and Barnes slicing through the visiting defence with tactical, unselfish passing before teeing up Proctor to divert goalwards for a half time scoreline of 2-2.
After the interval, both team emerged knowing the points were very much in their own hands and that the next goal could be critical. From the sidelines, the game became very enthralling as it was uncertain what could unfold. Both sides defended well but Fennel was in fine form and Man of the Match Mattear was exceptional in every aspect.
As the tie ticked away Keswick began to be the dominant side and pushed forward more creating more space thus opportunities, with over laps from right and left backs Swanston and Sloan, Wilson and Bowen provided the midfield backbone while Owen dealt out the piercing passes.
Eventually Keswick had their reward when Proctor splitting the defence with a mazy run finding cook in the D who teed up Rikki Barnes who showed the necessary composure to slot the ball passed the keeper and give the Cumbrians the lead. ‘Pool battled back and almost went close again via yet another short corner but Wilson was positioned well to clear the ball off the line as Wests avoided a scare.
Any other opportunity 'Pool came across was delt with by the brick wall of Dave Harris making saves that kept West's head of the game
The game was eventually put to rest with 10 minutes remaining when Cook collected the ball at the edge of the D, with some effective work from the right hand side via sloan and morgan, turned on a sixpence and lashed the ball against the backboard and despite the quality the visitors clearly had, it seemed accepted that Wests had won this difficult fixture.
As the game drew to a close Keswick were rampant and displayed their best period of the game and flooded the ‘Pool defence with waves of attack from all sides and could have capped off the match with a fifth but Proctor could just not reach the inviting cross to convert. Keswick face Mossley hill on saturday at home and Brigg in the EHM vase on Sunday at home as well.