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FA TROPHY: Chippenham Town 1 Sholing 2
CHIPPENHAM Town’s involvement in the FA Trophy was brought to an end this afternoon as they slipped to a disappointing defeat at the hands of Sholing.
The visitors netted from two set-pieces either side of half-time in a scrappy, turgid encounter, knocking out the Bluebirds in the second qualifying round.
The visitors were first to threaten five minutes in, with Kevin Brewster’s powerful strike drawing a fine save from Chippenham goalie Ben John.
Lee Wort fired wide for Sholing before the Bluebirds almost took the lead 26 minutes in.
A clever corner routine led to Josh Egan winning a free-kick on the left-flank and his delivery swerved wickedly in the wind and had to be headed off the line by the visitors’ Pete Castle.
Scott Lye linked up smartly with Alan Griffin and burst into the area before seeing his shot blocked by the legs of Sholing keeper Matt Brown.
But shortly before the break, the Southampton-based visitors took the lead when Brewster’s free-kick was powered past a despairing John by the head of Castle.
Chippenham emerged from half-time with renewed purpose as they chased an equaliser and began to pile the pressure on Sholing.
In the 54th minute, Dean Griffiths was sent racing towards goal by Egan and the striker won the race with two defenders before lobbing onrushing goalie Brown but his effort looped agonisingly on to the roof of the net.
Lye had a poked effort clawed away while Adie Harris almost marked his first start with a goal as his low, left-footed shot was turned around the post by Brown.
Then, in the 76th minute, the Bluebirds were hit with a sucker-punch as Brewster and Castle combined again to make it 2-0.
Full-back Brewster’s corner was floated in from the left and Castle blocked off John, leaving himself with an empty net to head in to.
Chippenham did bite back straight away and they pulled a goal back just a minute later through substitute Luke Ballinger, who fired home into the bottom-left corner from the edge of the box.
Alex Kite volleyed wide while the visitors’ Craig Stanley drew another diving save from John.
The Bluebirds threw everything into finding the equaliser and it almost came in added time as James Guthrie’s low strike was finger-tipped away by Brown, as Sholing held on.
CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Ben John, Alex Kite, Tyrone Mings (Brandon Barnes 85), Adie Harris (James Guthrie 66), Steve Casey, Nathan Rudge, Josh Egan (Luke Ballinger 66), Scott Lye, Alan Griffin, Dean Griffiths, Iain Harvey.
Subs not used: Richard Fey.
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