CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Rudge has no hard feelings

This Is Wiltshire: Chippenham chief Nathan Rudge Chippenham chief Nathan Rudge

BLUEBIRDS chief Nathan Rudge insists that there are no hard feelings between himself and striker Lee Phillips after their row on the sidelines.

Rudge took Phillips off for Dean Griffiths just 28 minutes in to Monday’s loss to West Country rivals Frome Town.

The Chippenham striker then had an angry exchange with his manager on the sidelines.

But Rudge resolved his differences with Phillips directly after this week’s defeat and says that he still regards the frontman as a vital piece of his Bluebirds jigsaw.

“There were a few angry words said on the sidelines when Lee came off but we’ve spoke about it, he’s apologised, and that’s the end of it as far as I’m concerned,” said Rudge.

“If I feel that someone’s not doing what myself and Rich (Fey, assistant) want them to do, then I’ve got no problems sending on someone else to do the job.

“No one is bigger than the football club and that stands for someone like Lee or one of the younger lads.

“But he’s still an important player and I wouldn’t have brought him to the club otherwise.”

Rudge was also disappointed with his team’s performance against Frome.

He said: “I didn’t think that there were any positives for us to take out of the game at all.

“We had possession but didn’t create anything “It was a game to forget about and move on to Hitchin.”

Ex-Chippenham striker Lewis Powell gave his former team a timely reminder of his threat just two minutes in when he curled a superb free-kick onto the crossbar.

Then, after 12 minutes, Frome took the lead when another former Bluebird, Sam Allison, played in Matt Smith, who beat Josh Dempsey with an early strike into the bottom corner.

Midway through the half, Dempsey had to produce a quick reaction save to palm away a goalbound effort following a scramble in the area while at the other end, Smith ghosted in and headed wide from Alex Lapham’s free-kick.

Then, in the 42nd minute, Chippenham came close to levelling matters when Brandon Barnes fired an excellent free-kick towards the right corner but Frome keeper Darren Chitty spectacularly tipped the ball away.

In the 69th minute, Steve Casey headed goalwards after Scott Rogers knocked on a Barnes delivery before the hosts delivered the decisive suckerpunch on the counter-attack.

Substitute Nat Auckland got in down the right flank and pulled the ball back to Lapham, who had time to steady himself before side-footing calmly into the bottom corner.

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