FOOTBALL: Mangotsfield United 1 Chippenham Town 3
CHIPPENHAM Town saved their most impressive performance for their final pre-season game as Mangotsfield United, who started with six former Bluebirds in their line-up, had no answer to their visitors’ slick passing game, writes WIL HULBERT.
The Bluebirds were without centre back Matt Coupe, who was attending a family wedding, while former Swindon Town player Alex Ferguson made an impressive contribution in midfield.
The only downside for Mark Collier’s side was a 40th-minute thigh injury to skipper Alan Griffin, who punched the ground in frustration as he realised the extent of his injury that must make him a doubt for the Southern League Premier Division opener at Biggleswade next Saturday.
Three minutes earlier Griffin had restored Chippenham’s lead from the penalty spot after former Bluebird Alex Kite had fouled Luke Ballinger in the area.
Ballinger had opened the scoring on eighteen minutes when with his back to goal he chested down a raking clearance from Greg Tindle before spinning and cracking home a vicious shot via the underside of the crossbar.
Two minutes later he instinctively headed home Iain Harvey’s powerful shot only to be ruled offside.
The Gloucestershire side equalised on 27 minutes when good play by Josh Egan ended with fellow former Bluebird Lewis Powell firing home a left-footed shot past Kent Kauppinen.
The game was settled as a contest two minutes after the interval, when Lee Phillips, who replaced the injured Griffin, met a beautifully-flighted cross from fellow substitute James Guthrie to loop a header over former Town keeper Josh Dempsey.
As both managers introduced a plethora of substitutes the game somewhat lost its shape although Ballinger shot against a post and Toby Osman skied a shot over the bar after good work from Omar Simpson.
Chippenham Town: Kent Kauppinen, Connor McCormack, Ellis Dunton (Shane Blackmore 46), Jon Beeden (Pete Monks 68), Greg Tindle, Iain Harvey (Bryan Smith 58), Toby Osman, Jordan Roberts (James Guthrie 46), Alan Griffin (Lee Phillips 40), Luke Ballinger (Ben McCready 68), Alex Ferguson (Omar Simpson 55).
Referee: Adam Ricketts.
Attendance: 150 (approx)
DON'T MISS OUR PREVIEW OF CHIPPENHAM TOWN'S SOUTHERN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION SEASON, PLUS A LOOK-AHEAD TO THE NEW CAMPAIGN FOR ALL OUR LOCAL SIDES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES