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CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Banbury United 1 Chippenham Town 0
Chippenham Town suffered their fourth defeat of the season earlier today as they were undone at Banbury United.
The Bluebirds struggled to break down their resilient hosts and were eventually beaten by a set-piece in the second period.
Nathan Rudge’s side carved out an opportunity in the opening minute as Scott Rogers’ free-kick found the feet of Lee Phillips in the box but the striker couldn’t make proper contact with his shot, allowing United keeper Tom Cross to knock the ball to safety.
Luke Ballinger whipped a cross onto the head of fellow winger James Guthrie at the back post but his header was off-target while Rogers fired a couple of efforts goalwards as the half drew on.
In the 38th minute, the Bluebirds went close through Ballinger’s goalbound strike, which was blocked on the line by Banbury defender Warren Plowright.
The home side went straight up the other end and winger Ben Polk was given a sight of goal but he shot wide.
Then, late in the second period, Chippenham broke on the counter-attack and Ballinger’s cross from deep was out of reach for Phillips before Guthrie could only fire wide as he arrived at the far post.
The Bluebirds went looking to ask more questions of their opponents in the second half and despite the match restarting with a quicker tempo, Chippenham still toiled as they failed to break down Banbury.
After Phillips and Guthrie had both had efforts on goal, the hosts fired a warning shot as they went within inches of taking the lead.
Dan Lawlor played the ball short to winger Polk from a free-kick and his cross from the left flank was headed just over the Bluebirds’ bar by tall striker Ricky Johnson.
At the other end, Scott Lye showed some smart aerial close control on the edge of the United area but his eventual shot was well wide of the target.
Then, 72 minutes in, Banbury made the decisive breakthrough.
Lawlor fired in a corner from the left and defender Jack Ashton stole a march on his marker at the back post and powered a header home to put his side in front.
Soon afterwards, Chippenham almost got back on level terms through a stroke of good fortune as keeper Cross came out to meet substitute Josh Egan’s ball into the box.
But Banbury defender Plowright got the ball first and headed back towards his own goal but his blushes were spared as the ball trickled out for a corner.
From the resulting kick, Alan Griffin scooped a shot over the bar while fellow substitute Brandon Barnes curled a free kick high over the goal.
At the other end, Bluebirds goalie Conor Thompson had to get down well to save a shot from Johnson while Rogers had a powerful strike beaten away by Banbury’s Cross late on.
CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Conor Thompson, Toby Osman, Shaun Lamb, Ashley Williams, Steve Casey, Iain Harvey (Alan Griffin 53), Luke Ballinger (Josh Egan 73), Scott Rogers, Scott Lye, James Guthrie (Brandon Barnes 67), Lee Phillips.
Subs not used: Alex Kite, Dean Griffiths.