CHIPPENHAM Town's FA Cup adventure came to an end on Sunday after a gutsy performance in a 3-0 defeat at home to Football League side Northampton Town in the first round, writes JONATHAN LEIGHFIELD.

A brace from Vadaine Oliver and a header from Harry Smith put the Cobblers three goals ahead at the break before a barrage of home pressure in the second half was to no avail as the Bluebirds crashed out in the first round for the third time in three tries.

Northampton named a strong starting XI, with former Swindon Town players Alan McCormack, Jordan Turnbull and Smith featuring.

Chippenham made a bright start, but it was the visitors who came closest early on.

Nicky Adams' effort from a tight angle was beaten away by home keeper Will Puddy before Smith headed the rebound onto the bar from six yards out.

Both sides exchanged half-chances for the next 10 minutes – Karnell Chambers volleyed wide for Chippenham, while Charlie Goode struck over from range at the other end.

Northampton should have gone in front when a Chippenham corner was intercepted and Adams was sent through one-on-one.

However, he opted to chip Puddy from outside the box and skewed his effort wide.

The opening goal came in the 24th minute as Smith headed an Adams corner into the net, and it was 2-0 shortly afterwards.

Adams was again the man with the assist as his cross from the right was headed home by Oliver.

With Northampton in control, centre back Charlie Goode tried his luck from distance, and Puddy – who enjoyed a fine game – tipped his strike onto the bar.

With time expiring in the first half, Northampton made it 3-0 when Oliver cleverly back-heeled a volley into the net from a volleyed cross.

Despite a trying second-half effort from the home side, with chances from Chambers and Will Richards being well kept out by the Cobblers, the Bluebirds were not able to lay a blow on Northampton.

The visitors seemed perfectly content to defend their lead and should have even had the chance to extend their advantage late on when Billy Waters went down under heavy pressure.

Yet no penalty was awarded and Chippenham survived with no further goals in man-of-the-match Puddy’s net.