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CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Chippenham Town 0 Arlesey Town 0
TEN MAN Chippenham Town had to settle for a point at home earlier this afternoon as they were held to a goalless draw by Arlesey Town.
The Bluebirds had captain Scott Rogers sent off for two bookings late in the first half but despite their man disadvantage, were on the front foot for the majority of the game and were left frustrated not to have taken all three points.
Dean Griffiths needed treatment after taking a knock in the first minute but he was soon back causing the Arlesey defence problems and in the 11th minute, flashed a cross into the area that was just out of reach for strike partner Lee Phillips.
A flowing team move saw Steve Casey’s ball create a moment of panic for visiting keeper Nathan Abbey and in the 18th minute, Griffiths carved out a glorious opportunity to put Chippenham ahead.
The striker out-muscled full-back Luke Thurlbourne and then rode a challenge from Ryan Frater to get himself in on goal but when Griffiths finally got his shot off, it was much too weak and was gathered easily by Abbey.
Griffiths threatened twice more as the half wore on but in the 38th minute, the Bluebirds were handed an uphill task as Rogers saw red.
The midfielder was first cautioned for sliding in on James Hatch from behind, despite protesting that he won the ball, and then minutes later, Rogers caught Arlesey’s Chris Dillon and was shown his second yellow card by referee Adam Penwell.
But Nathan Rudge’s men remained in the ascendancy and four minutes before the break, Phillips latched on to a quickly-taken free kick but his shot rolled agonisingly wide of the target.
Chippenham may have expected the visitors to take the advantage in the second period but the Arlesey pressure never came and Griffiths had a powerful strike clawed away by keeper Abbey ten minutes in.
But shortly after the hour mark, the away side finally carved out an opening when striker Dillon played in substitute Aston Goss but debutant Bluebirds goalie Ben John came out of his goal to save well from the Arlesey man.
At the other end, Josh Egan threatened three times in succession.
First the winger looped a left-footed volley over the bar before firing just wide of the target with another volley and then almost catching out Abbey with a powerfully-struck set-piece from deep that was heading for the top corner.
John was again called into action in the 76th minute as he saved Dillon’s close range effort after he was picked out by winger Chris Marsh.
Five minutes from time, Luke Ballinger floated in a corner that found Rudge at the edge of the area but he could only direct his header wide of the goal.
CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Ben John, Alex Kite, Tyrone Mings, Ashley Williams, Steve Casey, Nathan Rudge, Josh Egan (Toby Osman 83), Scott Rogers, Scott Lye, Dean Griffiths (Luke Ballinger 78), Lee Phillips (Alan Griffin 62).
Subs not used: Clayton Fortune, Brandon Barnes.
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