SOUTHERN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION: Chippenham Town 3 Arlesey Town 0
A POLISHED and disciplined performance from the Bluebirds saw them win their opening game at Hardenhuish Park as visitors Arlesey were given few opportunities to shine.
The damage was done in the first half, with goals from Alex Ferguson and Alan Griffin, with the former also seeing an effort disallowed for a marginal offside.
In the second period Arlesey briefly threatened a comeback but a sublime free kick from Ballinger put paid to any thoughts of a visitor’s fightback.
Throw in a superb Zak Evans strike that bounced away to safety after striking the underside of the crossbar and the Hardenhuish faithful were treated to a rousing afternoon.
For Chippenham, there were standout performances from Luke Ballinger and Jordan Roberts, while the return of Matt Coupe, who missed the defeat at Redditch, to the centre of defence again gave the backline a very solid look.
With Lee Phillips suffering a knee injury in training it was an opportune moment for Bluebirds’ skipper Griffin to announce his fitness as he came in for his first league game of the season.
Chippenham took the lead on 28 minutes in a slick move started by Ballinger. Roberts then turned on the ball to lay it to Ferguson who also put in a smart turn before firing home his first goal in a Bluebird shirt.
In the final minute of the half, Roberts played a superb ball into the path of Griffin just inside the penalty area and the skipper rifled home a low shot across Nick Thompson.
After the break, Evans’ 35-yard screamer hit the bar and Arlesey then began to ease themselves back into the match without ever really threatening the home goal.
Seven minutes from time Roberts was fouled on the edge of the area and Ballinger’s low free went though the Arlesey defence and nestled in Thompson’s right hand corner.
Chippenham: Kauppinen, Osman, Beeden, Coupe, Tindle, Harvey, Evans (McCready 59), Roberts, Griffin (Simpson 75), Ballinger, Ferguson (Monks 84).
Subs not used: Leigh, Wright.
Referee: Adrian Tranter.
Yellow card: Maltay, 23, foul (Arlesey)
REACTION TO CHIPPENHAM'S WIN AT GAZETTEANDHERALD.CO.UK/SPORT AND WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT AND IN NEXT WEEK'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND WILTSHIRE TIMES