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Archive - Wednesday, 6 April 2005
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Town's kids in three fall
A 10-GOAL County Ground thriller ended in heartbreak for Town's youngsters as they saw a three-goal lead evaporate in the final of the Wiltshire Premier Shield last night.
First-half strikes from Ashan Holgate, Andy Caton and Chris Allen should have been enough to see off Steve White's Chippenham but four goals from the impressive James Constable and two from Dave Gilroy eventually saw the visitors triumph 6-4 after extra-time.
Alan Reeves' side also paid the price for not naming a single player on the substitutes bench, a situation the reserve team boss said was hardly out of choice.
A crowd of around 500, including a healthy vocal following from Chippenham, certainly couldn't complain about the entertainment on offer.
The visitors started as favourites, especially as Reeves was the only senior player in Town's side.
However, when Ashan Holgate looped a 26th-minute header over Mark Hervin, the youngsters clearly grew in confidence.
Reeves cleared a Gary Horgan effort off the line before Lance Lewis teed up Caton and the latter bundled in number two.
On 42 minutes when Lewis beat Hervin and delivered a low cross from the left byline for Chris Allen to make it 3-0 it looked to be game over.
Chippenham had other ideas and came bursting out of the blocks in the second half.
Constable fired home on 51 minutes to reduce the deficit and from then on it was one-way traffic.
Lee Davidson made way for former Bristol Rovers striker Dave Gilroy 10 minutes into the second half and it was the ex Pirate who pulled it back to 3-2 on 73 minutes. He crashed a rasping drive into the bottom left hand corner of the net past Matty Bulman, having been teed up beautifully by Constable.
The Chippenham fans roared their team on in search of an equaliser and it became a question of whether Town could cling on.
Bulman did just enough to deny the onrushing Gilroy on 77 minutes but the striker struck again five minutes from time, again thumping in a Constable cross to take a pulsating final into extra-time.
Town were down to 10 men by this stage, cramp forcing young Allen to leave the field of play courtesy of a piggy back provided by physio Dick Mackey.
Just when Town looked to be on the ropes up popped Reeves to loop a header into the far corner and the home side led 4-3. However, it was a tall order to hang on for almost 27 minutes and when Bulman came hurtling from his goal and missed the ball Constable kept his cool to slam the ball home to make it 4-4.
The former Cirencester youngster then found the bottom right hand corner to make it 5-4 as Town lost another man, this time Morris, to end the night with just nine players.
Constable then fired home his fourth of the night, this time to the left of Bulman, and that was that.
Town: Matty Bulman, Sam Morris, Kyle Lapham, Michael Pook, Alan Reeves, Scott Doe, Chris Allen, Ben Wells, Ashan Holgate, Lance Lewis, Andy Caton.
CHIPPENHAM: Mark Hervin, Rene Regis, Simon Charity (Ian Herring), Nick Bunyard, Sam Bailey, Gary Horgan (Ben Kirk), Ellis Wilmot, Lee Davidson (Dave Gilroy), James Constable, Sam Allison, Scott Walker.