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The Vanarama National League South

Slough snatch point with late rally at Chippenham

Chippenham Town

Chippenham Town

Sandell (12, pen 63), Guthrie (55)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Hollis (50), Dunn (73), Moone (89)
League Attendance: 328 Mark Scott
Slough Town demonstrated their never-say-die attitude once again on Tuesday evening as they pulled back a two goal deficit to take a point from their visit to fellow promotion hopefuls Chippenham Town.

The game had looked well beyond the Rebels after experienced striker Andy Sandell scored his second of the match past an injured Mark Scott from the penalty spot to make the score 3-1, but Simon Dunn reduced the arrears and Charlie Moone – who earlier had a penalty brilliantly saved by Darren Chitty – tapped home the equaliser with a minute remaining to secure a vital point.

Chippenham’s attacking threat was evident early on with two chances in the opening four minutes. Matt Smith got in behind the Slough defence, but Scott kept out his effort with his legs – and shortly after, Scott was in position to hold a shot which came in from a tight angle.

Whilst looking shaky at the back despite bringing Mark Nisbet back in to partner Guy Hollis in central defence, Slough also showed attacking intent, and only a superb last-ditch tackle from Greg Tindle prevented Elijah Adebayo from getting in a strike after Dunn played him in.

However the Rebels have made an unwelcome habit of conceding early goals of late, and that trend continued as Sandell gave Chippenham the lead on 12 minutes. A straightforward-looking clearance upfield from out wide on the touchline resulted in Sandell beating Nisbet to the ball before running through, rounding Scott and slotting in to open the scoring.

The goal paved the way for the hosts to dominate the rest of the first half, and Slough were not helped as Warren Harris was forced off with an injury.

Sandell headed wide from a corner on 26 minutes, and Slough then broke quickly to provide Moone with his side’s first clear chance, but Chitty beat his effort away to safety.

After James Dobson required treatment after suffering a tough tackle on the touchline, Slough had more injury worries as Sandell caught Scott late with studs to his ankle as the goalkeeper cleared the danger. No action was taken against the Chippenham striker and, after lengthy treatment, Scott continued despite barely being able to move on his right leg or take any kicks.

Slough made it to half time just a single goal behind, and five minutes in to the second period equalised thanks to Guy Hollis’ fifth goal of the season. A deep corner found Nisbet unmarked, and he calmly brought the ball down and laid it off for Hollis to strike from the edge of the box. The ball took a big deflection off Smith and gave Chitty no chance as it hit the roof of the net.

However, Slough were level for just six minutes. The Rebels debated the award of a free kick 30 yards out, but James Guthrie took advantage and played the free kick into the box, beating Scott, who struggled to get across his line to keep the ball out.

And on 63 minutes Slough’s task looked insurmountable as the hosts were awarded a penalty after a handball offence by Nisbet, from which Sandell converted easily.

Chippenham threatened to run riot, but remarkably Scott spread himself to make a good save after David Pratt burst through the heart of the defence with ease.

But Slough stood firm, did not let their heads drop and were rewarded on 73 minutes as Dunn turned expertly and struck from around 15 yards, with the ball again taking a deflection and wrong-footing Chitty as it snuck into the bottom corner.

Slough were back in with a chance, but were still indebted to Scott, who make an awkward-looking but effective save from another Guthrie free kick as he hobbled across to his far post.

Then, with ten minutes remaining, Slough were handed the chance to level the scores when the referee awarded a penalty for a foul on Adebayo, despite Moone heading the ball into the net in the seconds that followed. However, Chitty made a wonderful save to turn Moone’s well placed kick up and onto the crossbar, with Chippenham able to clear the danger.

With that, Slough’s chance looked to have gone, particularly when Adebayo headed a Hollis cross agonisingly wide with just four minutes remaining.

But on 89 minutes, Slough’s late pressure paid off and Moone was able to make amends for his earlier miss. A long throw from Hollis went all the way through to Moone in the six yard box, and he had the simple task of side footing the ball into the net to bring the scores level and round off the action in a remarkable second half.

Chippenham Town Lineup

Darren Chitty, Dan Bowman, Jon Beeden, Michael Pook, Greg Tindle (c), Will Richards, Alex Ferguson, Matt Smith, David Pratt, Andy Sandell, James Guthrie. Subs: Mario Mateus, Gary Horgan, Matt Jones, James Rae.


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