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FA CUP: Chippenham Town 3 Badshot Lea 1
CHIPPENHAM Town saw off the spirited challenge of battling Badshot Lea to take their FA Cup run into the fourth qualifying round earlier today.
The Bluebirds found their Combined Counties League opponents no pushovers and they finished the afternoon with ten men but ran out 3-1 winners to avoid a relative giant-killing.
Chippenham made the perfect start and took the lead seven minutes in after Scott Rogers was scythed down just outside the area.
Brandon Barnes stepped up to take the free-kick and curled a sweetly-struck effort into the top corner, giving visiting keeper Matt Watson no chance.
But the visitors hit straight back and they almost levelled matters in the 13th minute when Liam Roberts’ cross was helped towards goal by Michael Griffiths, but the Bluebirds’ Conor Thompson was on hand to save.
Thompson also had to palm away an effort from Brad Smith ten minutes later but on the half-hour mark, Chippenham got their second.
Alan Griffin latched on to a throw-in and held off his marker before squeezing a low ball into the area, which was powerfully side-footed high into the net by striker partner Lee Phillips.
But going two goals down spurred the visitors in to life and they made it 2-1 minutes later when a long throw-in was flicked on and found its way to Michael Griffiths, who had time and space to volley home.
Phillips missed a great chance to restore his side’s two-goal lead shortly afterwards when he headed over from Scott Lye’s cross and minutes in to the second half, Griffin had the ball in the net but the linesman’s flag was up for an offside.
Badshot grew into the second period and began to put the Bluebirds under some pressure from set-pieces but they struggled to create any more clear-cut opportunities, while at the other end, keeper Watson had to deal with a bouncing effort from Barnes.
In the 70th minute, Chippenham killed off any hope of a fightback with a stunning team goal.
Dean Griffiths and Griffin exchanged quick passes before putting Josh Egan, who had come off the bench just nine minutes earlier, in on goal.
The winger latched on to Griffin’s perfectly-weighted through ball and crashed home a powerful effort, that swerved past Watson for his first Bluebirds goal.
The home side were delirious but they were brought back down to earth in the 78th minute when Toby Osman was shown a straight red for a mis-timed lunging challenge on Nick Sowden.
Egan almost got his second as he had a well-struck free kick beaten away by the Badshot goalie and in the final minute, the visitors hit the woodwork as Michael Smith latched on to Roberts’ long ball and smacked an effort against the upright.
CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Conor Thompson, Alex Kite, Toby Osman, Ashley Williams, Steve Casey, Nathan Rudge, Scott Rogers (Josh Egan 61), Scott Lye, Alan Griffin (Tom Seery 90+2), Brandon Barnes.
Subs not used: Shane Blackmore, Luke Ballinger, Richard Fey.