CHERRIES women converted one of their games in hand on league leaders Exeter City into three points with a 3-1 victory away at Keynsham Town in the FA Women’s National League Division One South West.

First-half strikes from Molly Barron-Clark and Lucy Cooper set Cherries on their way in Somerset.

However, Vicky Vipond pulled a goal back for the hosts in the second period, but defender Amber Treweek made sure of the result late on to keep Cherries’ title charge on track.

Following Exeter’s midweek victory over Devon rivals Torquay United and the postponement of Cherries’ trip to Southampton Women, a 12-point gap had opened up.

With four games in hand on the Grecians, Cherries remain very much in the title picture, and they quickly looked to cut the gap with victory away at Keynsham.

The away side would lead inside 10 minutes, with Barron-Clark lashing home a powered effort into the bottom corner to open scores.

Kenni Thompson almost doubled Cherries’ advantage two minutes later, her dinked shot clanking off the crossbar.

Before the game reached 20 minutes, Cherries would have their second goal.

Alisha Buckingham released Cooper, who kept her cool to bury her shot past Charlie Haynes in the Keysham goal.

Haynes managed to deny Thompson’s finish on the swivel when the goalie was next called into action by Cherries.

Cooper went close again on the half-hour mark, placing wide, before fellow goalscorer Barron-Clark was denied by Haynes.

At the start of the second period, Cherries keeper Daniela Kosinska was alert to deal with Vipond’s ambitious strike from range.

Centre-half Treweek sent a header wide from a Barron-Clark free-kick, before the hosts reminded Cherries they were still in the game.

Vipond popped up just before the hour mark to halve the deficit.

Cherries would again hit the bar through Katie James, the subsequent rebound fired goal bound by Erin Bloomfield but saved by Haynes.

But late on, Treweek ensured Cherries would leave Somerset with all three points by grabbing her side’s third goal of the game.

Cherries: Kosinska; Venditto, Treweek, Jones, Smith; James, Hillier (Gilroy, 68), Buckingham (Bloomfield, 68), Barron-Clark, Thompson, Clark.

Unused subs: Fripp, McGuinness, Scadding (g/k).