EVO-STIK LEAGUE SOUTHERN PREMIER DIVISION: Bedworth United 2 Chippenham Town 2 (From Wiltshire Times)
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EVO-STIK LEAGUE SOUTHERN PREMIER DIVISION: Bedworth United 2 Chippenham Town 2
LEE Phillips' double saw Chippenham Town rescue themselves from two goals down to take a point at Bedworth United this afternoon.
A quick-fire double from the hosts' Tom Lorraine had put Bedworth in command but Nathan Rudge's Bluebirds rolled up their sleeves and battled their way back into the game in the second period.
Following a quiet opening spell, United's Tom Bates whipped a free-kick towards the bottom corner in the 22nd minute and Ben John showed smart reactions to get down and palm the ball away.
In the 34th minute, Chippenham survived a big handball shout when Richard Wesley powered a cross at Iain Harvey from close range but referee David Avant wasn't convinced.
Despite struggling to really stretch their opponents, the Bluebirds were defending well and the contest was finely poised.
But with 39 minutes on the clock the hosts pounced and struck the first blow as they took the lead from a set-piece on the left flank.
Bates pumped the ball into the six-yard box and striker Tom Lorraine rose highest, nodding the ball into the net at the far post.
Almost out of nothing, the first blow became a double salvo as the same United combination came to the fore again, with Bates crossing and Lorraine nodding in his second, this time at the near post.
Chippenham were left with a mountain to climb inthe second half but minutes after the restart, Phillips worked himself into a good shooting position but saw his effort blocked by a superb sliding challenge from Nathan Haines.
Bedworth went straight down the other end and when John's clearance rebounded off David Blenkinsopp, Bates went for the lob and wasn't far off target, finding the roof of the net.
Minutes later, United's Wesley burst into the box and aimed for the bottom corner with a side-footed effort but his shot trickled millimetres wide of the post.
The hectic opening to the half continued but it was the Bluebirds that profited, reducing the deficit in the 55th minute.
Scott Lye jinked past his marker on the right flank and found Phillips in the box, who powered a header past keeper Andrew Kemp to make it 2-1.
In the 61st minute, Bedworth almost restored their two-goal lead when Andrew Gooding evaded past three challenges and superbly picked out Bates at the far post but his drive was narrowly wide of the target.
But as the half finally settled down, it was the Bluebirds who were on the front foot and they began to put the United area under constant pressure.
The hosts still threatened and Blenkinsopp drew a save from John at close range but with 83 minutes on the clock, Chippenham carved out a superb equaliser.
Toby Osman side-footed an airborne ball down to fellow sub Alan Griffin and the striker held off his marker before smartly back-heeling into the path of Phillips.
And the Bluebirds man finished emphatically, arrowing a powerful, curling strike into the left-hand side of the goal to level the scores.
Chippenham continued to drive forward in the final minutes as they looked to snatch a winning goal but the breakthrough never came, with Rudge's side returning from Warwickshire with a hard-fought point.
CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Ben John, Iain Harvey, Jacob Wannell, Jordan Tillson, Greg Tindle, Nathan Rudge, James Guthrie (Toby Osman 21), Scott Lye (c), Dean Griffiths, Tom Knighton (Alan Griffin 72), Lee Phillips.
Subs not used: Alex Kite, Jim Rollo.