A CONTROVERSIAL goal from Hungerford Town's Harry Goodger was enough to see Chippenham Town slip to their second defeat of the season at Hardenhuish Park yesterday.
Mark Collier's men were undone by a strike four minutes before half-time, with the Bluebirds' near-neighbours going on to make the decisive breakthrough after former Chippenham man Matt Day was unpunished for a challenge on Conor McCormack.
Boss Collier must be feeling that it’s one step forward and two back for his side at the moment as a groin injury saw Darren Edwards become the third Bluebirds striker to join the injury list, with the Hardenhuish Park chief forced to field a makeshift front two of Luke Ballinger and Alex Ferguson.
In the closing stages of the first period, with Chippenham on the attack and players committed forward, former Day stamped on Cormack on the half-way line.
The home players then stood in disbelief as the referee failed to react, as the offence, committed under the nose of an assistant, went unpunished.
Hungerford swiftly moved the ball downfield to Goodger, whose low shot squirmed under the body of Kent Kauppinen and despite the keeper’s efforts, rolled over the line.
The match was a typical derby, with both sides cancelling one another out and chances coming at a premium.
Matt Coupe had recovered sufficiently to play the first 55 minutes alongside the returning Greg Tindle at centre back, before being replaced by Ellis Dunton.
Before his goal, Goodger had spurned two chances for the Crusaders, heading straight at Kauppinen after finding himself unmarked on one occasion.
All Chippenham had to offer in the opening period were two-off target efforts’ from Ballinger.
The second period saw even less goal-mouth action, although Jon Beeden played a lovely one-two with Ballinger, ending with his shot beating Paul Strudlley in the Hungerford goal but striking the crossbar.
Lee Smith, a summer target for the Bluebirds, had the visitors' only second half chance, hitting a shot straight at Kauppinen.
In a late flurry, Tindle saw two headed efforts clear the Hungerford bar, but it wasn’t going to be Chippenham’s day.
CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Kent Kauppinen, Conor McCormack, Jon Beeden, Matt Coupe (Ellis Dunton 54), Greg Tindle, Iain Harvey, Alex Ferguson, Jordan Roberts, Ben McCready (Omar Simpson 50), Luke Ballinger (George Pawley 72), James Guthrie.
Subs not used: Tyron Leigh, Toby Osman.
Referee: Gary Parsons (Lymington)
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