CHERRIES’ title charge took a hit at Vitality Stadium as they were held 1-1 by a Keynsham Town side led by the heroics of goalkeeper Charlotte Haynes.

The away side had taken a first-half lead after dealing with consistent Cherries pressure through Vicky Vipond, with Haynes keeping the hosts at bay for some time.

However, she was eventually beaten by Gemma Hillier, giving Cherries 20 minutes to chase a winner.

Despite going close on occasion, Cherries were unable to find a second goal to snatch all three points.

Cherries enjoyed sustained pressure on the Keynsham goal in the opening stages, but were unable to convert any of their early corners into proper efforts on Haynes in goal.

At the other end Maisy Smith had to be alert with a sliding intervention to prevent Naomi Clipston a run at goal.

Despite Cherries' control of the play, it would be the away side who would open scores.

A deep free-kick found its way to the back post, where Vipond was lurking to power home past Daniela Kosinska for her second goal in two games against Cherries.

Near the half-hour mark Molly Barron-Clark wanted a penalty as she was brought down inside the area on the turn by the trailing leg of Mia Daly, referee Daniel Forrester emphatically waving away appeals.

Full-back Abby Jones nearly produced a phenomenal solo effort after winning the ball on the half-way line.

She proceeded to surge down the byline, skinning her marker Brooke Stirrup before knocking the ball beyond her to tee up a shot inside the box.

Only a deflection could deny Jones, her effort sent past the far post.

Cherries ended the half with two decent opportunities.

Lucy Cooper’s cross found Gemma McGuinness who sent an effort down the throat of Haynes.

On the stroke of half-time, the two would combine again. Ellie Butler’s centre found Cooper, who flicked the ball on to McGuinness.

One-on-one with Haynes, the Irishwoman was denied by a big save from the Keynsham goalie.

In the second period Cooper went close on the swivel, her volleyed effort flying just wide of the goal.

Haynes were proving insurmountable in the Keynsham goal.

Slipped in by captain Hillier, Cooper must have thought she restored parity with her close-range effort.

However, Haynes was again equal to the effort, somehow pushing the shot onto the post.

Cherries went closer again. Substitute Kenni Thompson’s cross found the head of fellow replacement Erin Bloomfield inside the box, a powerful header crashing off the bar.

But Cherries would find a way through after 73 minutes.

A smart dummy from Hillier allowed Jones’ pass to run through to Thompson, who cut the ball back to Cherries’ skipper to smack goalwards, her effort creeping under Haynes and into the back of the net.

Cherries were now hunting for a winner.

A free-kick from close range was taken short to Thompson, who had a low drive halted by the outstretched leg of Haynes.

In added time the ball fell to Cooper, her effort straight at Haynes.

Cherries: Kosinska; Bowers (Venditto, h-t), Treweek, Smith (Bloomfield, 59), Jones; Hillier (Gilroy, 81), James, Barron-Clark; McGuinness (Buckingham, 81), Butler (Thompson, h-t), Cooper.

Booked: Barron-Clark.

Keynsham: Haynes; Withers, Garton, Radburn, Vipond, Stirrup, Clipston (Bees, 90), Reed (Bullock, 52), H Price (S Price, 68), Daly, Amphlett.

Unused subs: Clark.

Attendance: 6,162.