BRACKLEY TOWN 1 1 CHIPPENHAM TOWN – Tuesday 24th August 2010
A proverbial game of two halves saw the Bluebirds overcome a half time deficit and produce a second half effort that could have taken the three points.
After being outplayed by the fast moving Brackley front line in the first half, Adie Mings made the brave decision to withdraw Nathan Rudge, who has been a bedrock of the defence in Chippenham’s opening three games.
Skipper Ashley Williams was detailed to mark livewire left winger Tom Winters who had given Steve Casey the run around. Casey moved to the centre of defence and Iain Harvey came on to take Williams’ slot in midfield.
The back four then played as a much narrower unit and largely stifled the home attack. Brackley opened the scoring on nine minutes when right winger Francis Green made the most of the wide open St James’ Park spaces to glide past Shaun Lamb. Green’s low cross took a deflection away from Chris Snoddy leaving Winters to rifle into an empty net.
The home side almost doubled their lead immediately when Kwesi Appiah, who was with Peterborough United last season, ran free from the half way line but Rudge made a great saving tackle. The impressive Jon Challinor then superbly controlled the ball only for his attempted lob to bring an equally impressive save from Snoddy.
As Brackley continued to dominate Appiah’s snap shot brought out another fine save from the Chippenham stopper. The change in fortunes happened as early as the 46th minute when Scott Lye’s deep free kick was headed over the bar by Greg Tindle.
The equalizer came eight minutes later when Lewis Powell was superbly tackled in the box by Josh Green. The ball broke to Luke Gullick on the left and his cross fell to Sam Allison who threw himself forward to powerfully head home from ten yards out.
Chippenham could have been in front a minute later when Powell’s cross gave Alan Griffin no time to react and his shot from three yards out ballooned over the bar. On 70 minutes on-loan keeper Darren Acton (who played for Nuneaton against Chippenham in last season’s play off final) managed to escape with only a yellow card when he picked the ball up outside of the box to deny Powell.
Both sides had a chance to win the game in the final quarter of an hour. A Brackley corner was only half cleared and Challinor’s shot again brought out the best in Snoddy, whilst at the other end Gullick charged down a clearance but his pass was just behind Griffin.
The big striker had to check himself before letting fly from 30 yards and his effort went narrowly wide. On 87 minutes Ashley Edenborough was dismissed having been on the pitch for only six minutes after a fracas in the home penalty area.
Chippenham: Chris Snoddy, Greg Tindle, Shaun Lamb, Ashley Williams, Steve Casey, Nathan Rudge (Iain Harvey 46), Scott Lye, Luke Gullick, Lewis Powell (Ashley Edenborough 81), Alan Griffin, Sam Allison
Subs not used: Mike Perrott, Shaun Benison, James Martin
Brackley: Darren Acton, Marcus Bignot, Michael Blackwood, Joe Magunda, Chris Willmott, Josh Green, Francis Green, Carl Palmer, Kwesi Appiah, Jon Challinor (Owen Story 84), Tom Winters subs not used: Jamie Gould, Jason Bradley, Jamie Clifton, Stuart Dorrill
Ref: Paul Redmond – Bicester
Ass Refs: Chris Williams – Waddeston, Phil Wideson – Hughenden
Star Man: Ashley Williams