The Bees suffered defeat on the opening day of the 2021/22 season – losing 2-0 at Keynsham Town.
After a cagey start, it was the Bees who had the first real opening when Lauren Heria was played through on goal. The talented player turned away from her defender to get a shot away, but it was saved well by Charlotte Haynes in the hosts’ goal.
As the first-half approached the mid-way stage, Osmond’s side were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box. Danielle Puddefoot stepped up and curled the shot up and over the wall to force a good save from Haynes.
In the 24th minute, Keynsham looked to impose themselves on the match and almost went in-front when Kerry Walklett drove down the right side and floated a ball towards Justine Lorton. Jess Burke couldn’t get enough on the cross to steer it away from goal, but Keynsham’s No. 9 failed to latch onto it, leaving Hazelton to claim.
The hosts took the lead in the 32nd minute as Keynsham delivered a ball into the box. A mix-up at the back left a loose ball bouncing inside the six-yard-area for Walklett to pounce onto and fire high into the goal.
Walklett continued to cause the Bees’ backline problems and almost added a second when another cross came into the box. The hosts’ No.12 tried to sneak in-behind to poke the ball home, however Amber Tullett was on-hand to clear behind for a corner.
The K’s doubled their advantage five minutes after opening the scoring when they launched a cross deep to the back post from the byline. Lorton rose highest to head the ball back across the face of goal to Bartlett who nodded in from close-range.
Osmond’s side didn’t let their heads drop after falling behind and almost pulled one back through Hannah Coote on the hour-mark when she found space in behind the K’s defence, only to see her powerful effort saved well from Haynes.
The Bees continued to grow in confidence as the second-half went on. A series of good passes caused problems for the hosts but the Bees still couldn’t find a way back into the match.
Keynsham responded quickly with a counter-attack following a large spell of possession from the Bees as Bartlett turned away from Burke to get a shot away and test Hazelton from range.
As the match hit the 76th minute mark, Coote crossed a delightful corner that fell to Lape on the edge of the box. The Academy graduate saw an opening and fired goalwards to force a save from the K’s ‘keeper, however it wasn’t enough to prevent the Bees from leaving the AJN Stadium empty-handed.
Keynsham Town: Charlotte Haynes, Alys Hinchcliffe, Jade Munro, Nadine Grogan, Corinne Yorston, Rachel Cullen ©, Georgia Evans, Kerry Walklett, Megan Wood, Kerry Bartlett, Justine Lorton. Subs: Natalia Bak, Xanna Kierk, Emma Norris, Lily Withers.
Goals: Walklett (32’), Bartlett (37’).
London Bees: Faye Hazelton, Jess Burke, Danielle Puddefoot (Chiara Lape 60’), Amber Tullet, Frankie Webster, Flo Gamby ©, Parker Dunn, Hannah Coote, Lauren Heria, Millie Constantine, Kelsey Gibson. Subs: Courtnay Ward-Chambers, Sophie Lee, Gemma Croucher.
Referee: Darren Gay (Somerset FA)