CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Harvey happy to tough it out
BLUEBIRDS’ midfielder Iain Harvey claims his side should be proud of the way they battled to a point at in-form Weymouth last weekend.
Chippenham Town are the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division’s recent draw specialists after four successive stalemates.
But their goalless clash in Dorset went down as a positive result after their defensive credentials were given a stern examination by the Terras.
It was backs to the wall for the Bluebirds as they soaked up everything that Weymouth threw at them and Harvey thinks that his side’s start to 2013 has provided the perfect springboard for a run of good form.
“Fair play to them because they (Weymouth) are a good side,” said the Hardenhuish Park midfielder.
“I thought that the lads up front were very good and it was hard because they were great on the counter-attack.
“They had some good young players and a bit of experience and they did the right things at the right times.
“We definitely weren’t at our best but as regards heart and togetherness, it was immense really.
“In the last month-and-a-half, I’ve been watching a lot of it but the boys have been playing unbelievable football, dominating every side we’ve played against for a long time.
“Drawing at Chesham away and Weymouth away; we’d take that and, obviously, the draw against Frome was gutting but things even themselves out.
“We’re unbeaten in 2013 and it’s only two games but a good run’s got to start somewhere and we’ve only been beaten twice in 12, which isn’t bad.
“We just need to carry on playing the way we can – you’re not always going to play well and when you don’t you just want everyone to get together and dig in, and that’s what we did.”
Uncharacteristically, the Bluebirds offered little up front all afternoon but fine performances from Steve Casey, Ashley Williams, Jim Rollo and Nathan Rudge saw Chippenham's defence hold firm.
Weymouth captain Scott Walker sent a powerful effort over the crossbar just after the half-hour mark and, early in the second half, a superb long-range pass from the former Chippenham man found Mark Ford in the area but his ball across the goal-line was deflected clear by Rudge.
In the 65th minute, the Bluebirds finally created their first opportunity of the match when Ashley Williams’ whipped cross was met by the head of Tom Knighton.
But his effort deflected over the bar off the back of a Terras defender.
With 73 minutes on the clock, the hosts wasted a glorious chance to take the lead when Barry McConnell found Ford with the goal at his mercy but the Weymouth forward skewed his shot onto the post from point-blank range.
Ford went close again with five minutes to go before a golden opportunity to steal all three points fell the way of Chippenham Toby Osman and Williams combined to put Knighton in on goal in a great position but, under pressure from a home defender and with an untimely bobble rearing its head, the striker got his finish all wrong and failed to punish Weymouth.