EVO-STIK LEAGUE SOUTHERN PREMIER DIVISION: St Albans City 1 Chippenham Town 4 (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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EVO-STIK LEAGUE SOUTHERN PREMIER DIVISION: St Albans City 1 Chippenham Town 4
6:28pm Saturday 21st April 2012 in News
CHIPPENHAM Town won for only the second time in the league since the turn of the year as Ross Stearn and Alan Griffin both scored twice.
The Bluebirds claimed an away win for the first time since Boxing Day and ended a run of 12 matches without a victory in Hertfordshire.
Chippenham’s second victory of 2012 was achieved against a side containing two current internationals and a keeper who is having trials with the England C side.
However, home custodian Nick Jupp looked anything but England material as the diminutive Stearn’s challenge saw him spill the ball and Stearn rolled the ball into an empty net to give the Bluebirds a second minute lead.
St Albans looked impressive in the opening stages as Paul Furlong, who played in the Premier League for Chelsea, saw his shot blocked by Kevin Sawyer’s legs.
The home side equalised on eight minutes with a low shot from Chris Henry and they almost snatched the lead immediately afterwards when Furlong’s diving header went narrowly wide.
The Bluebirds saw lady luck smile on them on 15 minutes when Jupp caught Griffin’s header following a James Guthrie corner, but the assistant raised his flag to indicate the ball had crossed the line.
Sawyer then came to the fore to save Alex Kite’s blushes as he pushed the ball over the bar to avoid an own goal.
Then in the first minute of stoppage time current Ghana international Henry Newton was denied by the Chippenham keeper.
It was to prove important as two minutes later following a bout of Chippenham corners the ball was cleared for a throw-in.
The ball was swiftly moved inside to Stearn who cut across the pitch before unleashing a low shot through a crowd of players and into the bottom corner of the net.
St Albans again started brightly in the second period with Antigua and Berbuda international Anton Blackwood seeing his shot saved by Sawyer.
After that the home side faded and Stearn’s 53rd minute free kick was met by Steve Casey but Jupp finally showed his class, as he pulled off a fine save.
Three minutes later Stearn produced a lovely piece of footwork to release Guthrie but again Jupp was up to the task.
The Bluebirds wrapped the game up on 63 minutes when Guthrie again exposed Jupp’s apparent weakness in the air as Griffin rose to get the faintest of headers past the home keeper.
Both Stearn and Griffin went close to notching a hat-trick as the former robbed the last defender only to shoot wide while Griffin was a whisker away from connecting with Guthrie’s cross.
Chippenham: Sawyer, Harvey, Randhawa, Williams, Casey, Kite, Lye, Stearn (Austin 82), Gullick, Griffin, Guthrie.
Subs not used: Gilroy, Rudge
Referee: Tony Power (Harrow Weald).
Yellow cards: Gray (St Albans) foul 66; Guthrie (Chippenham) foul 75
FULL MATCH REPORT AT GAZETTEANDHERALD.CO.UK/SPORT TOMORROW, PLUS REACTION IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD
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