CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Griffin set for Hunger game

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Goalscorer James Guthrie (left) takes the congratulations of Alan Griffin and Bryan Smith after putting Chippenham Town 2-0 up against Banbury United last weekend Goalscorer James Guthrie (left) takes the congratulations of Alan Griffin and Bryan Smith after putting Chippenham Town 2-0 up against Banbury United last weekend

ALAN Griffin reckons stricken teammate Rob Dean wouldn’t want the Bluebirds to allow the memory of his harrowing injury hamper their efforts at Hungerford Town tonight.

Chippenham return to Bulpitt Lane this evening almost a month to the day after their abandoned clash, which was brought to a premature end by midfielder Dean’s career-ending knee dislocation.

And Bluebirds skipper Griffin is hoping that the game itself will be the only thing on his team’s minds when they take on the Crusaders (7.45pm).

“Obviously we were always going to have to go back there and play – I think the lads will be fine and I’m sure both teams will just get on with it,” said the striker.

“They’ve got other things to worry about because they’ll be wanting to win the game to get in the play-offs.

“What happened to Deano was obviously everybody’s worst nightmare and it was horrible to see the lad how he was, but that’s gone now and hopefully he’s recovering.

“We’ve just got to treat it as any other game and to keep harbouring back to what happened is no good for anyone – and I know that Deano doesn’t want that to happen.

“It’s going to be a very tough game and they’ve got momentum but to be fair, when we went there (on March 18), we were flying in the first half-an-hour before Deano’s injury.

“They’re flying and going for promotion – but I think that will raise our game and we’ll just be looking to push on and build on the two victories that we’ve had in the last two Saturdays (over Truro City and Banbury United).

“We can take that into it and play with a bit of freedom.

“The pressure’s all on them because they’ve got to keep winning games.”

Griffin smashed home the opening goal to set Town on their way to a win against Banbury United that safeguarded the hosts’ place in the Calor League Southern Premier Division.

The scoreline failed to reflect the Bluebirds’ first-half dominance but Griffin was delighted to see his team pick up a crucial victory.

He said: “We got into a rhythm early doors and dominated the game, and I thought we were unlucky to only be 1-0 up.

“It was a bit trickier in the second half and we couldn’t really use the wide men like we did in the first half but Guths (James Guthrie) scored a good goal and that settled us down.

“The lads at the back did well and Kent (Kauppinen) made a couple of good saves to keep a clean sheet for the boys so in the end, it was a good win.

“Obviously we shouldn’t be where are but now there are no relegation worries, we can build for next season in the last four games.”

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