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CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Brackley Town 5 Chippenham Town 1
Chippenham Town failed to turn the form book on it’s head as they were thrashed at league leaders Brackley Town earlier today.
The ruthless hosts were clinical going forward and Adie Mings’ side also ended the afternoon with ten men after substitute Shaun Lamb was sent off for verbally abusing a match official.
Brackley began the game on the front foot and five minutes in, Chippenham’s Greg Tindle had to hook the ball off the goal-line after Gary Mulligan had burst towards the byline and poked across the face of goal.
Two minutes later, the Saints took the lead when a long throw-in was pumped into the box.
Mani Randhawa got a slight touch but was under pressure and the ball broke to Mulligan, who rifled home past a helpless Jason Matthews.
Despite the home side taking the lead, the Bluebirds began to find their feet in the game and defended well, turning the encounter into a tight, combative affair.
Then, in the final ten minutes of the half, Chippenham finally began to ask questions of their opponents, with Ross Stearn having a close-range shot saved by Billy Turley after James Guthrie knocked down Randhawa’s cross.
Winger Guthrie also fired a shot over with his weaker right foot as the visitors went into half-time on the up but any chances of a comeback were dashed within seconds of the restart.
A long ball was pumped forward from the Brackley back line and striker Steve Diggin produced a superbly weighted lob that looped over the head of Matthews and dealt a body blow to the Bluebirds.
Facing an uphill struggle, Mings’ men went further behind in the 63rd minute when full-back Eddie Nisevic, who broke Chippenham hearts in 2010 by scoring the extra-time winner for Nuneaton Town in the Premier Division Play-Off final, went on a storming run down the left flank.
Nisevic got to the byline and played a low cross into the box which was swept into the net by the arriving Glenn Walker to make it 3-0.
At the other end, Stearn flashed a shot wide after a smart run and neat link-up with sub Toby Osman but in the 78th minute, Brackley increased their lead even further with a devastating counter-attack.
A Guthrie corner was helped on by Iain Harvey and led to Osman seeing a shot blocked on the line but the ball was swiftly carried to the other end and played out to Owen Story in space on the right wing.
The Saints winger drew Matthews out of his goal before laying the ball on a plate for Diggin to finish into an empty net for his second of the afternoon.
Soon afterwards, the Bluebirds’ afternoon got even worse when, after the ball went out of play on the left flank, Lamb confronted the linesman and was soon shown a straight red card by referee Anthony Serrano for foul and abusive language directed at the match official.
In the 87th minute, it looked as though Chippenham would at least have the last say in the match when Alan Griffin was brought down off the ball as a corner was floated in and dusted himself off to fire home his 20th goal of the season from the penalty spot.
But Brackley went on to rub salt in the wounds minutes later when Diggin crossed for substitute Marvin Robinson to head home across the face of goal with his first touch.
CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Jason Matthews, Iain Harvey, Greg Tindle, Mani Randhawa (Ashley Williams 45), Steve Casey, Alex Kite (Shaun Lamb 61), Scott Lye, Ross Stearn, Luke Gullick (Toby Osman 64), Alan Griffin, James Guthrie.
Subs not used: Dave Gilroy, Nathan Rudge.