Sunday, 1 January 2012

Chippenham Town 2-1 AFC Totton, 31/12/11 3pm


Totton were hoping to end the year on a high after the 2-0 derby day win over Bashley on Boxing Day. Any sort of result at Chippenham would be a good one as the Bluebirds are one of the form sides in the division at the moment. They are unbeaten in their last 8 games, stretching back to a 5-3 defeat at Barwell on 8th October.

The game began very end to end, with Chippenham slightly edging the play.

Nathaniel Sherborne lofted an attempted lob over the bar when he spotted Chippenham keeper Will Puddy off his line.

Chippenham's Ross Stearn then crossed for Steve Casey whose headed effort was cleared off the Totton goal-line.

Referee Andrew Newell turned down two good shouts for Totton penalties in the first half.

The first when Nathaniel Sherborne burst into the box and went past one defender before being bundled over by a combination of three others. The referee couldn't have had a better view but he waved play on.

Then former Chippenham player Jon Davies ran to the by-line and attempted to play the ball into the box but his cross appeared to be blocked by the arm of a Chippenham defender.

Half time: Chippenham Town 0-0 AFC Totton

Ross Stearn drew a fine save from Totton keeper Grant Porter in the second half and then Andy Sandell fired over the bar from the rebound.

Chippenham tried their luck from distance many times in the second half with the ball frequently ending up in the next field or in the locals' gardens.

It seemed as if The Bluebirds would have been happy with a point from the game with plenty of time wasting with goal kicks and the taking of free kicks, throw-ins and corners.

With 15 minutes to go, a Totton attack ended with Chippenham keeper Puddy safely claiming the ball and launching it up-field.

While play was going on in midfield a Chippenham defender tangled with Jon Davies in the box and shoved him in the chest.

The linesman spotted the incident and raised his flag to his chest to indicate a penalty. After a 5 minute discussion with his assistant, and arguments from the Chippenham players, the referee pointed to the spot and booked the wrong player in the process.

Mike Gosney did what he does best and sent Puddy the wrong way to give Totton what looked like a late winner, with just 10 minutes remaining.

4 minutes later Chippenham were level. Lewis Powell crashed a header against the crossbar from a cross on the right. The ball bounced down onto the line and was cleared.

Totton should have learned from that let-off, but 10 seconds later the ball was whipped in once more and this time Powell made no mistake as his header evaded the outstretched arm of Grant Porter.

Totton were then outdone in the 2nd minute of added time, which might not even have been played if the officials hadn't spent so long deciding whether or not to give Totton their penalty.

The same two players that brought Chippenham level combined again with Ross Stearn crossing from the same side and Lewis Powell applied the finishing touch.

Totton had another shout for a penalty turned down in the 4th minute of added time when Sherborne appeared to be held back as he controlled a long ball into the box but once more, referee Newell wasn't interested.

Full time: Chippenham Town 2-1 AFC Totton

At 1-0, Totton looked as if they would go on to see out the game and claim all 3 points. In the end they travelled back to Hampshire with nothing. It was a scrappy game, with Totton not at their usual level and a very one-dimensional Chippenham playing a long-ball game that meant their midfield were hardly in the game. On reflection, neither side really deserved to win and a draw would have been a fair result, but Chippenham fans might argue that justice was done after the controversy surrounding the Totton penalty. So we move on, and Totton are away for the second time in 3 days when they travel to Weymouth on 2nd January 2012. Stags midfielder James Coutts is on loan at the Bob Lucas Stadium and will therefore be ineligible to play against his parent club.

Chippenham Town: Puddy, Harvey, Lamb, Williams, Casey, Rudge (Tindell 58), Sandell, Stearn, Powell, Griffin, Guthrie. Unused subs: Gilroy, Kite, Randhawa.

AFC Totton: Porter, Hill, Richardson (Sturgess 90), Whisken, Sampson (Oldring 46), Davies, Campbell, Pettefer, Gosney, Sherborne, Osman (Brown 84). Unused subs: Jack, Charles.

Chippenham: Powell (84, 90)
Totton: Gosney (80 pen)

Officials: Referee: Mr A Newell. Assistants: Mr M Dadds & Mr R Cockle.

Attendance: 610

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