AN INJURY-TIME goal from Steve Kinniburgh denied Chippenham Town a well-earned three points at Bedford Town on Saturday.
Hosts Bedford had only conceded once in their last five outings but the Bluebirds got off to a perfect start by making the most of some uncharacteristically slack defending by the home side.
Adie Harris made a good run down the left wing and his cross found Dean Griffiths, who made no mistake.
The first half turned into a midfield battle with neither team making any chance of note.
Chippenham could have increased their lead straight from kick-off in the second half when appeals for handball fell on deaf ears and the ball ran through to man of the match Alan Griffin, who brought out the best in Bedford keeper Ian Brown.
Griffin had another chance a few minutes later when a good passing move involving Scott Lye, Griffiths and James Guthrie fell to the striker but he was off-balance and gave Brown an easy save.
The Bluebirds controlled large parts of the game and Ben John in the visitors' goal was not called to make his first save until the 75th minute.
The turning point came with 10 minutes left to play when Harris was sent off for the second time in three games for a second bookable offence.
Even after being reduced to ten men Chippenham, managed to hit the bar when a Lye chip beat the out-stretched Brown.
But Bedford finally found a way through a stubborn and determined Bluebirds defence when the referee spotted Jim Rollo wrestle Josh Beech to the ground in the penalty area.
Eugene Libertucci took the resulting penalty, which John parried away as far as Kinniburgh, who scored from a tight angle giving the home side an unlikely share of the points.
Chippenham remain 16th in the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division and welcome second-from-bottom Redditch United to Hardenhuish Park next weekend.
CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Ben John, Jim Rollo, Greg Tindle, Ashley Williams, Steve Casey (c), Nathan Rudge, Adie Harris, Scott Lye, Alan Griffin, James Guthrie (Tom Knighton 65), Dean Griffiths.
Subs not used: Lee Phillips, Iain Harvey, Toby Osman.
MORE CHIPPENHAM TOWN NEWS AND REACTION IN NEXT WEEK'S GAZETTE AND HERALD