BLUEBIRDS LIVE: Chippenham Town 2 St Neots Town 1

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  • FULL-TIME: Chippenham Town 2 St Neots Town 1
  • Alan Griffin and Rob Dean find then net to hand the Bluebirds a hard-fought victory at home
  • The Bluebirds notch up back-to-back league wins for only the second time this season
  • Dan Barnes reports from Hardenhuish Park


We'll have all the reaction to a great week on the pitch for the Bluebirds in this Thursday's Gazette & Herald

Thanks for following Bluebirds Live this evening


And that brings a pulsating second period to an end. 

Chippenham notch up back-to-back league wins for only the second time this season and they were definitely made to work hard for it.

But there were some superb performances on show from Mark Collier's men, coupled with some great last-ditch defending to maintain their hard-fought lead




But it comes to nothing!


Into the fourth minute off added time and the Saints keeper is up for a corner


But there's a HUGE last-gasp chance for the visitors! 

Jake Woolley finds space on the right flank, collects a pass, cuts in past Pete Monks, but sees his name up in lights as goes for goal, smashing his effort metres wide when he looked certian to score!


Into injury time now and it's all hands to the pump as Chippenham look to see the game out


It's still frenetic stuff at Hardenhuish Park, with both sides threatening another goal. 

Three minutes of normal time remaining


Another super save from John keeps the hosts' lead intact! 

St Neots' Davies goes on a fantastic run from the heart of midfield and plays in striker Thomas - who looks offside but the flag stays down again - but his side-footed effort is brilliantly charged down by the Bluebirds goalie


It's all action at Hardenhuish Park as the visitors come close to a second equaliser!

Substitute Simon Thomas gets a run on goal and cuts inside before striking low for the bottom corner. John is beaten but is able to watch the effort narrowly fly the wrong side of the upright


The hosts looks to have thier groove back and another lofted ball from Griffin allows McClennan the chance to go for a spectacular volley.

The winger contols his shot well but there isn't enough power to trouble St Neots' Abbey


And the response is emphatic from the hosts, who will feel like justice has been done.

Griffin smartly flicks the ball over the Saints defence, giving Guthrie a run into the box. The winger bursts towards the byline before laying a low cross into the danger area, setting up Rob Dean to sweep home and restore the home side's lead 




Another chance falls the way of St Neots, with substitute Jay Davies curling an effort wide of the target


A bit of a test of character here for the home side after that controversial equaliser


It's disappointment for the Bluebirds and there's a doubly-bitter taste in the mouth as the linesman becomes the victim of the ire of half the ground.

The Saints loop a ball over the Chippenham back-line and Shane Tolley looks yards offside but the official's flag stays down, with the striker looping an effort over John and into the top corner.

Collier's men more than a little hard done by there




It's all happening! Moments later, Phillips draws a save from Abbey and then at the other end, the visitors break and striker Tolley is put one-on-one by Nolan but John charges down the effort sublimely 


And it should be 2-0 to the hosts. Wright floats in a cross from the right wing and Griffin is unmarked in the area.

But as the ground wait for the net to bulge, their expectations aren't met as the striker skews his header high over the bar!


It's all gone a bit scrappy. Can the Bluebirds regain their footing in this game? Crucially though, they still lead 1-0 at Hardenhuish Park


And this time it takes a superb save from John! Hilliard slips the ball in behind for Tolley and his strike across the face of goal is finger-tipped around the post by the Chippenham goalie.

The visitors are banging at the door and the ball just keeps on coming back when the home side look to break


Another great piece of last-ditch defending prevents the Saints levelling things up! Hilliard, who has moved on to the right wing, bursts into the box but Oakley gets his body in the way at the crucial moment to deflect the effort wide for a corner


Unsurprisingly, St Neots have come out with renewed vigor in the early stages of the second period.

The break and put a dangerous ball into the area but Oakley gets a vital head on the ball to prevent it dropping into the path of the unmarked Ferrari


And we're back underway at Hardenhuish Park


Chippenham emerge first for the second period, with confirmation of that change - Joe McClennan replacing the injured Corey King


Stick with Bluebirds Live for all of the action from the second half as it happens!


I don't want to jinx things but Chippenham have probably produced their best performance of the season so far tonight.

They've had the lion's share of the goalscoring chances and could easily have a much healthier lead than the 1-0 one that they go into the half-time break with. 

There have been some fine individual performances thus far, with the likes of Rob Dean, Aaron Oakley, Corey King and Ben John - who has still had to make some vital interceptions - the leading lights in the first 45 minutes.

There looks as though there'll be change at half-time though as winger King looks to have picked up a knock after being on the end of a hefty challenge from the Saints' Ben Ford. Joe McClennan should replace him




It might be the home side that are on top but John is called into another important piece of goalkeeping, this time rushing to nick the ball away from Ferrari after he's played in by Tolley


Big penalty shout from Chippenham! Wright pumps a ball into the box and the visitors' Frater has his hands wrapped around Griffin as he goes to latch on the end of it.

The striker goes down but referee Tim Wood turns down the shouts for a spot-kick, much to the annoyance of the home fans


Dean really fancies a goal tonight - the midfielder rushes forward to nick the ball off a Saints opponent and goes for the top corner from just outside the area, with Abbey jumping up to parry the effort with both hands


Chippenham patiently hold on to the ball on the right wing and Smith pops in a cross that fellow midfielder Dean stoops to head goalwards but the effort flies narrowly wide of the mark. 


At the other end, a vital touch from John prevents the Saints levelling things up! Matt Nolan's teasing cross is tipped away by the Chippenham goalie, with Tolley setting himself up for a tap-in


King almost makes it two goals in two games for him. After latching on to Guthrie's cleared cross, the winger goes for goal with a curling left-footed effort, which keeper Abbey has to turn around the post at full stretch


A slip from Greg Tindle lets the Saints' Hilliard burst into the box and the midfielder attempts to set up Shane Tolley for an easy tap-in but Bluebirds goalie John bravely claims the ball, almost flattening Aaron Oakley along the way!


Chippenham good value for their early lead at Hardenhuish Park but how will visitors St Neots respond after spending the majority of the first 15 minutes clearing their lines?

At the other end, Lorenzo Ferrari shows some smart feet to work an inch of space and get a shot away but the effort trickles comfortably into the hands of John


You can't say it hasn't been coming and it's a great opening goal from Chippenham. Bryan Smith picks out James Guthrie with a superb, lofted ball and the winger drills in a low cross, allowing the arriving Alan Griffin to blast home his 13th league strike of the season




Wright plays a one-two with Lee Phillips from a throw-in and his low cross into the box somehow finds its way all the way to Dean, who goes for goal but just can't hook his foot around the ball to hit the target


But there's another chance for the Bluebirds, with Griffin this time having a header tipped over by Arlesey keeper and player/assistant manager Nathan Abbey. It's a bright start from the hosts


But at the other end, there's a heart-in-mouth moment for the hosts!

Ben John comes to claim a deep Saints free-kick but misses the ball, allowing defender Ryan Frater an effort, but he's taken by surprise and can't head into the unguarded net


The Bluebirds threaten again. 

Callum Wright's cross evades the head of Alan Griffin but Dean is there at the back post, with the midfielder's effort somehow not going over the line - it looked as though that one stuck in the mud in front of the goalmouth! 


Rob Dean sends Corey King racing goalwards with a superb cross-field ball.

The angle narrows as the winger looks to get his shot away and fires an effort past the top right-hand corner of the St Neots net. 

Some early encouragement for the hosts


And we're underway at Hardenhuish Park


The Bluebirds will kick us off, going from left-to-right


And out come the two sides. Chippenham in their usual all-blue strip, St Neots in red and black


There's movement in the tunnel already as the two teams get ready to come on to the pitch at Hardenhuish Park


So there around 15 minutes til kick-off here at Chippenham.

One absentee for the Bluebirds again tonight is Lloyd Macklin, who was also missing on Saturday. No official line on why the forward hasn't been in the squad so we'll do our best to look into that one for you.

Midfielder Iain Harvey has been out warming up tonight but he's still not fit enough to return from his hamstring problem.


ST NEOTS TOWN: Nathan Abbey, Dave Deeney, Arthur Lee, Ben Ford, Ryan Frater, Gavin Hoyte (c), Lewis Hilliard, Ben Farrell, Shane Tolley, Matt Nolan, Lorenzo Ferrari.

SUBS: Simon Thomas, Jay Davies, Jake Woolley, Tom Wood, Ian Morris.


CHIPPENHAM TOWN TEAM TO PLAY ST NEOTS TOWN: Ben John, Callum Wright, Pete Monks, Bryan Smith, Aaron Oakley, Greg Tindle, Corey King, Rob Dean, Alan Griffin (c), Lee Phillips, James Guthrie.

SUBS: Kent Kauppinen, Tyron Leigh, Joe McClennan, Harley Purnell, Jon Beeden. 


The teams are in and there are no changes for Mark Collier to the side that won on Saturday. 

Joe McClennan returns to the bench as he continues his recovery from a shin injury


The Bluebirds go looking to do something they've only managed once so far this season tonight - win two games in a row in the league.

The hosts, who beat Weymouth 2-1 on the weekend, have only managed back-to-back victories once this campaign and that was back when they beat Hitchin Town and Frome Town in succession over the August Bank Holiday weekend 


After last Saturday's stormy weather did its best to dirsupt proceedings, the elements look as though they'll be slightly kinder to Chippenham tonight - it's a clear winter night, with a slick-looking playing surface following the day's rainfall


As usual, get involved with Bluebirds Live this season and have your say on Chippenham Town's fortunes on and off the pitch.

Get in touch via Twitter using the hashtag #bluebirdslive, comment in the box below or e-mail – but please keep your thoughts clean!


Good evening from Hardenhuish Park. Bluebirds Live returns tonight to being you live updates from Chippenham Town's clash with St Neots Town in the Calor League Premier Division 


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