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BLUEBIRDS LIVE: Chippenham Town 2 Hitchin Town 0
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- FULL-TIME: Chippenham Town 2 Hitchin Town 0
- Managerless Chippenham Town beat Hitchin Town in the Calor League Premier Division
- Alan Griffin heads the Bluebirds in front after 29 minutes before Joe McClennan fires in fuumber two
- Dan Barnes reports from Hardenhuish Park
Thanks for joining us on Bluebirds Live this afternoon. Don't forget to log back on to gazetteandherald.co.uk/sport on Bank Holiday Monday for live updates from derby day at Frome Town.
More Chippenham Town news and reacion in next week's Gazette and Herald.
Chippenham goalscorer Alan Griffin: "We just said go out there, enjoy ourselves, and see what we can do.
"It was a goood all-round performance. It's been a bit of a tricky week for the club.
"The first win of the season is always important and that's going to help us. Take it in to Monday and if we can get a draw or ideally a win, four or six points from the weekend will be good for us."
The Bluebirds played well in the second period and could have scored a great deal more. The visitors did have their chances but it finishes 2-0 as Chippenham take all three points
And that's that. Chippenham Town produce the perfect response to losing their manager in midweek - notching up their first win of the season.
Goals from Alan Griffin and Joe McClennan see off the challenge of Hitchin Town at Hardenhuish Park
CHIPPENHAM TOWN 2 HITCHIN TOWN 0
So unlucky for Chippenham striker Reid. He wins the ball off Donnelly and has the chance to run at goal but his left-footed shot is blocked by the noutstretched palm of keeper Bell
Chippenham carve out another goalscoring opportunity. Purnell slides a ball into the path of Knighton and his strike skews across the face of goal
Two minutes of normal time remaining and Hitchin look a spent force
SUBSTITUTION: Isaac Reid comes on for Alan Griffin, who's had a good game this afternoon
And another chance for Chippenham! McClennan sees his fine strike beaten away by Bell
SO close to number three for Chippenham. Knighton's smart lay-off sends Griffin racing clear and the Bluebirds man returns to the favour to his strike partner but Knighton's shot is scrambled wide by a duo of Hitchin defenders
Big let off for Chippenham as Hitchin miss a golden opportunity to pull a goal back. Lowe drives into the box and lays the ball into the path of Martin, but the striker gets his finish all wrong at the near post
Around 15 minutes left at Hardenhuish Park
SUBSTITUTION: Tom Knighton comes on for the Bluebirds, replacing Lee Phillips
Moments earlier, Tumulty was booked for a cynical trip as Hitchin broke on the counter
The Bluebirds go close to making it three. A long cleareance bounces in the Hitchin area and Phillips connects with a header, which drops just over the bar
The Bluebirds get their second! Phillips collects a free-kick and charges down the right side of the area before laying a low ball into the path of McClennan, who toe pokes home into the top of the net to make it 2-0!
CHIPPENHAM TOWN 2 HITCHIN TOWN 0
Golden opportunity for the Bluebirds! Phillips outmuscles Lench to a bouncing ball and goes to lob the onrushing Bell but stabs his shot straight in to the Hitchin keeper!
Chippenham look like they've changed their shape after that substitution, with McClennan playing in behind Phillips and Griffin and Harvey, Purnell and Tumulty forming a midfield three
Chippenham's Purnell and Callum Donnelly are both booked. The Hitchin man crashed in to Purnell, who responded by kicking out
A McClennan free-kick somehow finds it's way all the way through a crowd of players, with Tumulty having a stab at goal but missing the target with his first touch
SUBSTITUTION: James Guthrie goes off to be replaced by Joe Tumulty
A Hitchin free-kick takes a wicked deflection in the box and Lowe tries to poke home on the stretch, but his effort is wide
Harvey is up and slightly limping as he makes his way off the pitch. He looks as though he may be fine to continue though
Harvey goes to challenge Hitchin's Lowe but looks to have hurt himself and is down holding his left knee. A bit of a worry for the Bluebirds
Great chance for Chippenham. McClennan slides Purnell in on goal but his shot on the stretch is blocked by keeper Bell
Phillips is bundled over by Lewis Rolfe as he goes to challenge for the ball near the touchline and reacts furiously, claiming that he was kicked by the Hitchin man. Referee Russell has a word with the two players but keeps his cards in his pocket
Tindle flattens Hitchin full-back Lench but the visitors continue to play whilst the defender is laid out on the floor. Once Chippenham's Griffin is flagged offside, Lench can finall recieve some medical attention
Hitchin hit the bar again! Barker's cross is knocked goalwards at the far post by Burns, with John tipping the effort on to the crossbar!
The Bluebirds have begun the half by passing the ball around slickly in midfield.
Mark Collier, who has declared his interest in succeeding Nathan Rudge, is in the stands watching Chippenham this afternoon
And we're back underway!
The two sides are back out for the second half at Hardenhuish Park
Hitchin have had their chances though and the Bluebirds will expect them to come out looking to level matters in the second period
Hitchin's Lowe has the ball and Greg Tindle lunges in with a fearsome two-footed challenge, which luckily misses the Hitchin man. One the ball goes out of play, Harris and Hitchin's Donnelly get involved in a war of words, with the arguments continuing as the two teams go down the tunnel for half-time.
Chippenham haven't been at their best but have a 1-0 lead at the break
Purnell is pushed by Lewis Rolfe in the box but referee Russell isn't moved by the penalty shouts reverbarating around the ground. Shortly afterwards, Griffin has a shot blocked
Around a minute of the half remaining at Hardenhuish Park. Chippenham still lead 1-0
Hitchin's Lowe finds a yard of space and strikes low at goal, with John turning the effort around the post
A header from Allward puts Martin in on goal but after he's held off by Adie HArris, Burns gets his strike all wrong
Guthrie goes on a driving run down the left flank, with Hitchin's Matt Lench tugging at his shirt, and his delivery eventually falls to McClennan, whose volley is pushed wide by keeper Bell
After a scrappy five minutes or so, Hitchin's Donnelly has another pop at goal but that's comfortable for John. At the other end, McClennan gets a yard on his full-back but fires low into the keeper's arms
That really was a great ball from full-back Allward. Can Chippenham take a stranglehold on this game now?
Chippenham get their noses in front! Guthrie and Phillips combine to set up Jack Allward, who produces a superb delivery from deep to pick out Griffin, who nods the ball over the head of Hitchin keeper Bell and into the net
CHIPPENHAM TOWN 1 HITCHIN TOWN 0
But the Bluebirds finally threaten again. McClennan picks up the ball and feeds James Guthrie, whose early shot is palmed away by keeper Bell
The Bluebirds have just lost their rhythm somewhat in the last few minutes. Every ball forward is coming straight back
John gets a strong fist to a Hitchin corner, with McGeorge volleying wide. Moments later, Robbie Burns also has an effort well wide of the mark
Now Chippenham go close, Hitchin clear their lines and Harley Purnell has a go from outside the box, with his strike deflecting narrowly wide
Hitchin hit the bar! Lowe goes on a jinking run after Chippenham give the ball away and feeds Donnelly, whose cut-back is knocked against the crossbar by Simon Martin!
And the visitors should be ahead! A great ball from Sam Barker is missed by Toby Osman, allowing Donnelly a strike on goal but the Hitchin midfielder side-foots the wrong side of the post. A let off for Chippenham there
Good chance for Hitchin. Callum Donnelly gets a cross in and Jama Lowe strikes goalwards but John is on hand to catch the winger's effort
The Bluebirds have the ball in the net. Alan Griffin nods on to Lee Phillips, who smashes home past Hitchin goalie Tahj Bell, but the linesman's flag is up for offisde
Hitchin's Rogan McGeorge plays in Robbie Burns, who goes to jink past Ben John but goes down as the Bluebirds goalie stretches out a hand. Referee Mark Russell turns down the penalty shouts though, with Chippenham claiming the Hitchin striker dived
The Bluebirds have passed the ball around nicely in the opening stages but they've yet to get in behind the Hitchin defence
Hitchin to get us underway, kicking from left to right
And the teams are out
It's been unusually quiet from within the dressing rooms at Chippenham but the noise is about to be ramped up as two teams move in to the tunnel
But for now, let's concentrate on matters on the pitch. The Bluebirds have headed back into the tunnel. There's around 15 minutes til kick-off at Hardenhuish Park
And Steve Winter, who takes charge as caretaker boss today: “Without blowing my own trumpet, I’ve had an alright career with 50-odd appearances in the league and I’ve played in the Conference too. At Bishop Sutton last year we won the league at a canter.
“I don’t know what the board want to do but if the opportunity is there, I’d love to have the chance to take the team forward.”
Ex-Swindon Supermarine boss Mark Collier: “Chippenham are a club in a very good division and a club that can sustain playing at that level because historically they have had big attendances.
"They are a club that are progressive and that matches the ambitions of myself and Tom (Tom Jones, Collier’s assistant at Supermarine). We will get in touch and see if they are interested in speaking to us.”
Former Chippenham manager Darren Perrin: "I hope whoever the club go for, they get it right.
"I hope it's a local person. I do feel they need to try and find a local manager to get the identity of the club back a bit.
"A lot of local lads have departed and you need to get those lads back playing for their local big club.''
So let's get back to the issue on everybody's lips - who do you want to see as the Bluebirds next manager? A host of potential candidates have had their say to the Gazette & Herald in the last few days...
HITCHIN TOWN: Tahj Bell, Lewis Rolfe, Josh Bickerstaff, Alasan Ann, Matt Lench, Sam Barker, Rogan McGeorge, Caullm Donnelly (c), Simon Martin, Robbie Burns, Jamal Lowe.
SUBS: Micheal Noone, Micheal King, Kofi Lochkart-Adams, Jack Gregson, Nick Burtenshaw
CHIPPENHAM TOWN TEAM TO PLAY HITCHIN: Ben John, Tody Osman, Jack Allward, Adie Harris, Greg Tindle, Iain Harvey, Joe McClennan, Harley Purnell, Alan Griffin (c), Lee Phillips, James Guthrie.
SUBS: Tom Knighton, Isaac Reid, Charlie Austin, Joe Tumulty, Sam Thomson
And the team sheets are in! Lee Phillips returns to the Bluebirds line-up whilst Chippenham Park goalkeeper Sam Thomson earns a place on the bench
We're currently awaiting official confirmation of today's line-ups after visitors Hitchin were held up in traffic and arrived at the ground at 2.20pm.
What kind of reaction will we see from Chippenham this afternoon in the wake of losing their manager?
The early team news is that on-loan defender Jordan Tillson still isn't fit to return, whilst Mitch Tippins also isn't involved today. However, Shane Blackmore is out joining in with the pre-match warm-up.
Alternatively, e-mail email@example.com or comment in the box below today's live blog - but please keep you thoughts clean!
Bluebirds Live will be bringing you live updates and all of the action as it happens. Get involved with Bluebirds Live this season and have your say on Chippenham Town's fortunes on and off the pitch by using the hastag #bluebirdslive on Twitter
As you'll no doubt be aware, Nathan Rudge resigned as Chippenham manager last Wednesday morning. Steve Winter has been placed in caretaker charge and leads the Bluebirds for the first time today
Good afternoon from Hardenhuish Park. It's been an eventful week at Chippenham Town but this afternoon, the Bluebirds turn their attentions back to matters on the pitch as they host Hitchin Town
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