CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Barnes back in the old routine
BLUEBIRDS youngster Brandon Barnes is hoping to get his name on the scoresheet more regularly after notching his first for the club in Saturday’s FA Cup victory.
The winger, who stepped up from Western League Bitton in the summer, has been operating on the left flank in the absence of the injured James Guthrie and headed home to level the scores on Saturday.
Barnes netted 18 times for Bitton last season and after biding his time for his first in a blue shirt, feels he’s adapting to Southern League football.
“I’m over the moon because I’ve been waiting for it to come and hopefully I can get some more now,” he said.
“I’ve come in to Chippenham from scoring goals at Bitton, so it has been a bit of a wait but hopefully that’s one of many more now.
“After coming up from two (divisions) below, everything is bigger and better – the tempo’s quicker and it’s harder and you have to be stronger because it’s more physical.
“But I’ve felt like I’ve settled in slowly and I’ve got to know the lads a lot better so I just want to crack on.”
Chippenham were given a tough test by Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South and West outfit Cleeve and Barnes added: “I think they brought the game to us at the start but all of us were rocking in the dressing room afterwards.”
Carl Brown and Will Gayton both tested Conor Thompson in the Bluebirds goal before Cleeve had keeper Jimmy Nortei to thank for keeping the scores level, as he produced a stunning reaction save to palm over Alan Griffin’s powerful strike.
Just before the half hour, the hosts went in front when winger Gayton got in down the left wing and Thompson could only a get a hand to his cross, which was fired back goalwards by Brown and bundled over the line through a host of bodies.
But 10 minutes later, Gayton was shown a straight red card for a kick on Toby Osman and there were more heroics from Nortei as he produced a brilliant double save to deny Barnes and Griffin.
In the 67th minute, Chippenham made their second-half dominance count as substitute Luke Ballinger’s cross was missed by Lee Phillips and missed by Griffin before Barnes arrived at the back post to nod home the equaliser.
Then in the 73rd minute and following a corner, Scott Lye lofted a high ball into the area and despite turning away in disgust to lament an apparent mis-kick, the Bluebirds midfielder’s delivery was flapped at by Nortei, allowing Steve Casey to stab home the winner.
Chippenham did lose their man advantage with ten minutes to go though, as Iain Harvey was sent off for leading with his arm as he challenged Lee Davis in the air.
CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Conor Thompson, Toby Osman, Shaun Lamb (Lee Phillips 45), Iain Harvey, Steve Casey, Nathan Rudge, Josh Egan (Luke Ballinger 63), Scott Rogers, Alan Griffin (Dean Griffiths 80), Scott Lye, Brandon Barnes.
Subs not used: Alex Kite, Richard Fey.
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