Chippenham Men 2

Cheltenham A 4

CHIPPENHAM started the new season with a friendly against opponents from a higher league, Cheltenham A.

Cheltenham set the pattern for the game in the early exchanges, pressurising the Chippenham defence of Stonham, Witchard, Powell and Cloke. But Chippenham remained calm, restricting Cheltenham to a few half chances.

Cheltenham continued to press forward and were awarded several short corners. But again calm defending and goalkeeping kept the scores level.

Chippenham then began to get into the game with the midfield of Burton, Fisher, Morris and O'Keefe showing good movement and passing. The midfield four' linked well to set up Harris with a reverse shot which was saved by the Cheltenham goalkeeper.

Chippenham then again found themselves severely tested at the back and further Cheltenham short corners meant that goalkeeper, Howard Simons had to make a fine double save to deny Cheltenham the opening score.

But eventually the pressure told and Cheltenham did open their account from a short corner with a flick from close range. Chippenham rallied and a good one touch passing set up O'Keefe who slotted the ball under the advancing goalkeeper to level the scores at half-time.

The second half saw Chippenham dominate the opening exchanges, forcing the visitors goalkeeper and defensive line into action but were guilty of giving away possession in key areas. This lead to Cheltenham regaining the lead but this was cancelled out more or less straight away as Burton finished off some good work between himself and Luke Morris.

Some end to end hockey followed until the last ten minutes of the game but Chippenham's defensive efforts began to take their toll and they conceded two late goals to give Cheltenham the victory.

Chippenham can take many positives from this friendly and will look forward to the season ahead.

Cheltenham Men A 3

Chippenham Men 5

CHIPPENHAM A team started the new season's campaign in fine style with a win over Cheltenham in a friendly away at Cheltenham.

It was the home side that opened the scoring but Simon Walker for Chippenham equalised, deflecting in a Mark Knight cross. But Cheltenham hit back and regained the lead soon after.

Knight brought the scores level again with a penalty stroke and the score remained at 2-2 going into the half-time break.

The second half saw Chippenham take back the lead again through Knight who found the target with a shot into the bottom left corner from the top of the D'. Chris Brunger then extended Chippenham's lead with a reverse sweep from a Knight cross in.

Cheltenham were not down and out and pulled a goal back to make the score 3-4 but Chippenham wrapped up the game with a fifth goal from Neil Stewart who flicked the ball past the Cheltenham goalkeeper from a short corner.

Man of the Match was given to fifteen year old John Haines who was making his debut for the Seniors.

Chippenham Men 3rd 5

Swindon Men 3rd 4

CHIPPENHAM'S third team shook off the cobwebs for a pre-season opening friendly match against Swindon 3rds on Saturday.

Swindon sportingly lent their visitors their twelfth man for the first fifteen minutes of the game, as several Chippenham were caught up in traffic delays.

Chippenham were the first to score but this was quickly equalled by Swindon.

As the half wore on, both teams settled to play some fine, fluent hockey with accurate passing and man-to-man marking. Chippenham's second goal came from a well-struck short corner but again, Swindon were able to match this with an equaliser shortly before the half-time break.

Swindon came out fighting at the start of the second half and their efforts were rewarded with two goals to regain the lead. However, Chippenham scrabbled in their third goal to snatch the lead back again.

Swindon were now beginning to tire as the effects of playing an earlier game for some of their players now making the difference between the two sides.

Chippenham began to dominate possession and two goals from short corners sealed an away win by five goals to four for the visitors.

Chippenham's goal scorers were Nick Brown and Tim Harris who both grabbed a brace and a further goal from Rick Law.