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CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Chippenham Town 0 Bedford Town 2
CHIPPENHAM Town endured a disappointing evening at Hardenhuish Park earlier tonight as they were undone by Bedford Town.
The Bluebirds struggled to find a way through the visitors’ water-tight defence and were eventually seen off by two second half goals.
12 minutes in, Bedford were prevented from taking the lead thanks to a stunning reaction save from Chippenham keeper Conor Thompson, who somehow held on to Mark Bell’s shot on the turn after he latched on to Eugene Libertucci’s long throw.
Ashley Fuller blazed an effort over the bar a minute later before, at the other end, Steve Casey had a header cleared off the line when he met Brandon Barnes’ corner.
Soon afterwards, it was Lee Phillips’ turn to have a looping header blocked on the goal-line and with 36 minutes on the clock, Toby Osman carried possession into the box and rode two challenges before the ball broke to striker Phillips, who fired over.
After going in to the break with the game goalless, the Bluebirds began to struggle to create chances and in the 61st minute they were dealt a blow when tall Bedford defender Jamie Grimes rose unmarked to power home with his head from Fuller’s corner.
Substitute Dean Griffiths went for the equaliser with an ambitious curling effort that flew over the bar before the visitors went close to doubling their lead.
Mark Bell drove towards goal on the counter-attack and set up Callum Lewis, whose instinctive header was tipped on to the crossbar by Thompson.
But in the 79th minute, Bedford did get a second goal when, following a period of pressure, a ball into the box wasn’t dealt with and cannoned off a Chippenham foot before Nat Peacock powered a finish into the side-netting.
It looked as though the Bluebirds would be saved by an offside decision but referee James McCafferey over-ruled linesman Aaron Reed’s flag and allowed the goal to stand.
As the game drew to a close, Barnes had a effort expertly tipped away by Eagles keeper Ian Brown, with the visitors making the long trip home with all three points.
CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Conor Thompson, Toby Osman, Tyrone Mings, Iain Harvey, Steve Casey, Clayton Fortune, Luke Ballinger (Josh Egan 64), Scott Lye, Alan Griffin, Brandon Barnes, Lee Phillips (Dean Griffiths 68).
Subs not used: Alex Kite, Nathan Rudge, Shaun Lamb.
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