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CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Rudge support for Dempsey
NATHAN Rudge has backed Josh Dempsey to successfully fill the Bluebirds’ problem number one shirt this season.
Goalkeeper Dempsey made his first appearance at Hardenhuish Park on Tuesday as Town were narrowly beaten by a youthful Exeter City side in their penultimate pre-season friendly.
The stopper also featured in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Cinderford Town and Rudge believes the highly-rated 24-year-old will prove to be a useful acquisition.
Since they lost stalwart custodian Chris Snoddy during last season, Town have had trouble filling the goalkeeper’s position, with on-loan Will Puddy and former Cirencester Town stopper Kev Sawyer doing the job.
Rudge revealed that Sawyer would not be re-signing and said: “Josh is someone we’ve tracked for a while and I thought he did great (against Exeter).’’
The player-manager, who was shown a red card in the Cinderford defeat, remained unconcerned by the two defeats as his side continue their build-up to their league opener at Hemel Hempstead Town on Saturday week.
He said: “Results at this stage just don’t matter – there is a bigger picture and I’m pleased with how we’re coming along. That’s what pre-season is for.
The Exeter match saw four penalties awarded, three of which were converted by three different Chippenham players.
The first fell to the Devon side on 12 minutes when Elliott Chamberlain was clipped by Ashley Williams and Tom Nichols made no mistake.
They doubled their lead on 18 minutes when Nichols fired home a first-time shot.
Chippenham pulled a goal back on 36 minutes when Lee Phillips was pulled down by Aaron Dawson and Griffin converted from the spot.
Four minutes before the break, Nichols squared to James Keohane to fire home and the same duo teamed up for the fourth.
Chippenham were rewarded on 85 minutes when Luke Ballinger’s cross was handled and substitute Dave Gilroy scored the penalty.
In the final minute another Ballinger cross was handled by Jordan Tillson and Ballinger netted.