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CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Just a bad day at the office
BLUEBIRDS’ boss Nathan Rudge is keen to move on from his side’s disappointing defeat at the hands of Banbury United last weekend as soon as possible.
Chippenham failed to find their rhythm at Hardenhuish Park and after Joseph N’Guessan put the visitors ahead, an uncharacteristic mix-up between Steve Casey and Ben John gifted Banbury a second.
The Bluebirds also ended the afternoon with ten men after Alex Kite limped off with an ankle injury, with the hosts having used up all their substitutions.
Rudge conceded that everything that could have gone wrong for his side on the day, did.
“We weren’t good at all – we only had one or two players at their max and you can’t carry the rest,” said the Town manager.
“Everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong for us and I understand that a lot of the fans were disappointed, which is fair enough because they paid their money to come and watch.
“We can’t dwell on it though – I’ve been in football long enough to know that you can’t do that and all you should concentrate on is putting it right as soon as you can, which we’ll work on in training.
“We’ve just got to draw a line under it. Manchester United lost 6-1 to Manchester City so every team has days like that.
“Lee Phillips had been ill, Adie Harris had been struggling with a few personal problems and I also wasn’t playing. We lost James Guthrie to an ankle injury in training and Luke Ballinger was away too, so that’s a lot to take out of a team.
“I think we really missed Guthrie and Ballinger because I think they’re the best wingers in the league – I did think that it was the Totton lads but our game against them (a 3-0 win last November) confirmed in my mind that we’ve got the best.”
Toby Osman and Tom Knighton both tested visiting keeper Warren Carter in the opening stages.
Ashley Williams went close to grabbing the first goal for chippenham with 23 minutes on the clock when he won the ball with a strong, diving challenge, played a one-two with Knighton, and smacked a powerful effort that flew just past the upright.
But despite the hosts’ bright start, they were hit with a suckerpunch six minutes later when Banbury’s Chris Lait chipped the ball to winger N’Guessan, who showed a smart piece of control before sliding the ball into the bottom corner.
A horror moment just before half-time left the Bluebirds with a mountain to climb.
Casey had the ball on the edge of the area, opting not to clear and hoping for John to rush off his line to collect.
But, while the pair waited for each other to act, United’s Kynan Isaac stole in and found the net with ease.
Keeper John was furious and directed his rage at Casey, removing one of his gloves and hurling it into the defender’s face as the inquest began, but referee Pater Lavelle chose not to take any action against the Bluebirds’ keeper.
The visitors then squeezed the life out of the game in the second period and despite boss Rudge swinging the axe at half-time and making three substitutions, as well as changing his side’s formation, Chippenham could not find a way back in to the contest.
And their afternoon took another turn for the worse 70 minutes in when Kite flung himself into a hefty challenge with Isaac but came off worse, hobbling off the pitch and leaving his team a man down for the final 20 minutes.