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CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Ben hopes the good times are returning
BEN John revealed he hasn’t been satisfied with his recent form but the Bluebirds goalkeeper thinks his side are slowly but surely getting back to their best.
The Town goalkeeper played a starring role as his side earned a hard-fought victory over St Neots Town on Tuesday night, pulling off a number of excellent one-on-one saves to prevent the visitors snatching a share of the spoils.
John has already had to overcome being dropped by boss Mark Collier following his arrival at the club last November and is hoping that the remainder of his season features a little less upheaval.
“I don’t think that I’ve been playing that well recently but in these last two games (wins over Weymouth and St Neots), things have been a bit better,” said John.
“It’s been a really stop-start season with different managers coming in and a lot of new young players being brought into the club but hopefully things are starting to settle down.
“When Mark first came in, I was obviously really gutted to get dropped because I thought that I was playing well at the time.
“But that’s the decision that was made at the time and I had to get over that.
“Mark and Tom (Jones, assistant manager) have been drilling into us how they want us to play and hopefully it won’t take too long for us to all get to our best.
“I’ve got to say thanks to Steve Hale (goalkeeping coach) for all of the work that he does with us too.”
The Bluebirds were on the front foot from the off against St Neots, with Alan Griffin and Rob Dean going close before the former opened the scoring with 15 minutes on the clock.
Bryan Smith’s searching ball found James Guthrie out on the left flank and the winger’s low cross set up Griffin to blast home into the roof of the net.
Corey King had a curling strike tipped around the post by Saints keeper Nathan Abbey before the home side had a penalty shout turned down as Griffin went down under the attentions of Ryan Frater.
The visitors went all out to find a way back into the game in the second period and John produced two superb saves to deny striker Shane Tolley and Matt Nolan.
But in the 68h minute, St Neots controversially levelled things up as striker Tolley latched onto a ball over the top of the Bluebirds back line and looped an effort into the top corner, with the linesman’s flag staying down despite vehement calls for offside.
However, Chippenham responded and regained their lead six minutes later as Griffin smartly flicked the ball on to Guthrie, who drilled in another low cross to allow Dean to sweep home.
Late on, the Saints’ Simon Thomas twice went close to hitting a second equaliser, with his second effort brilliantly charged down by John, before fellow substitute Jake Woolley wasted a glorious opportunity to earn the visitors a draw.
The winger blasted horribly wide of the mark after he picked up the ball unmarked in the Bluebirds area.
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