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BLUEBIRDS LIVE: Chippenham Town 0 Hemel Hempstead Town 3
This live event has finished
- FULL-TIME: Chippenham Town 0 Hemel Hempstead Town 3
- Ben Mackey, Jordan Parkes and Lewis Toomey are on target for Hemel
- Alan Griffin is sent off for a second booking midway through the second half
- Dan Barnes reports from Hardenhuish Park
Thanks for following Bluebirds Live this afternoon.
We'll have more reaction from this afternoon's defeat to Hemel Hempstead, build-up to next week's game at Bashley and more Chippenham Town news in this Thursday's Gazette & Herald.
Follow us on twitter @gazsport
Chippenham manager Mark Collier on today's loss to Hemel Hempstead: "I thought we equipped ourselves well in the first half. Obviously, conceding a goal when we did was disappointing because they ran off the back of us.
"Then, it was a poor second goal. Forget the Griffin sending off - it's the second goal that's killed the game.
"Then they could get a foothold on possession and that made it difficult.
"Griffin said that he didn't think that his second booking was a foul but as soon as the lad's made a fuss about it, that's the way it goes. There's no malice in Griff, who goes in to tackle fairly, but there's nothing we can do about it now.
"Things are going against us at the minute but no-one's going to feel sorry for us and we've just got to regroup and take stock in the week.
"I thought that Bryan (Smith) did well and so did the young lad Tyron Leigh, playing against strikers who have played levels higher.
"I thought James Guthrie was where we want him to be - working hard and going past people - in the second half."
And that brings this afternoon's proceedings to an end.
Hemel Hempstead were always going to be a tough assignment for Mark Collier's Bluebirds and after Alan Griffin's harsh sending off, an uphill climb turned into an uphill struggle.
That's four defeats in five games for Chippenham and next weekend's game has to considered a huge one - away to bottom-of-the-table Bashley
CHIPPENHAM TOWN 0 HEMEL HEMPSTEAD TOWN 3
Chippenham's Corey King shows a great turn of pace to blaze past two defenders and flash a dangerous low cross into the box but Guthrie just can't get the final touch
The Bluebirds go close to pulling a goal back as Guthrie's lobbed effort floats agonisingly across the face of goal
Hemel's Mackey goes down after being beaten to the ball in the air by Tindle, indicating he took an elbow to the face, but referee Adam Penwell is unmoved and play continues
Super tackle from Greg Tindle to bring Mackey to a halt in the box
And I did curse the Bluebirds - I'm so sorry!
Hemel finally produce a move with some purpose and striker Mackey drives into the box before spreading the ball out wide to substitute Lewis Toomey, who drills a low shot past John and into the bottom left-hand corner
CHIPPENHAM TOWN 0 HEMEL HEMPSTEAD TOWN 3
There's about 14 minutes plus stoppage time left at Hardenhuish Park.
Without wanting to fall foul of the commentator's curse, Hemel have taken their foot off the gas somewhat since Griffin's dismissal, with this clash almost turning in to a training exercise.
It's still 2-0 to the visitors
Final change for the Bluebirds - Corey King comes on for Joe McClennan
As you'd expect, there's so much space for the visitors to exploit now
Hemel break on the counter-attack and Parkes goes for goal but his strike is well-dealt with by John
It really did look as though Griffin pulled out of that challenge on Hemel defender King.
The striker rushed forward as if he was about to slide into the tackle strongly but the actual contact looked minimal - if any.
It's all academic though now as Chippenham face an uphill struggle for the remainder of this afternoon
Ten-man Chippenham make a double substitution - Rob Dean and Lloyd Macklin come off for Alex Ferguson and Tom Knighton
Alan Griffin is shown a second yellow card. The striker goes in to challenge David King, who goes down writhing in agony.
But the Bluebirds striker could have a case to feel hard done by and it looked as if Griffin barely made any contact at all
Up the other end, Griffin holds the ball up and lays into the path of the onrushing John but he side-foots his effort over the bar from the edge of the area
The Bluebirds will be disappointed to concede that one. The Chippenham defence switch off from a disputed throw-in that Hemel take quickly and the visitors find skipper Jordan Parkes unmarked in the box, with the winger striking across goal and finding the far corner
CHIPPENHAM TOWN 0 HEMEL HEMPSTEAD TOWN 2
Griffin holds the ball up early on and goes for a shot on the turn but that's comfortable for keeper Walker
And we're back underway at Hardenhuish Park
The two sides are back out for the second period.
The Bluebirds will kick-off
It's somewhat harsh on the Bluebirds going in to the break.
They've competed well thus far in an entertaining clash with the league leaders. Hemel have moved the ball around nicely and created some chances but the home side had been defending stoutly - up until Mackey got his goal on the stroke of half-time.
It's up to Mark Collier to regroup his troops at the break and see if the home side can conjur up a second half fightback
CHIPPENHAM TOWN 0 HEMEL HEMPSTEAD TOWN 1
But Hemel break the deadline on the stroke of half-time. The ball is pumped forward through the heart of the pitch and Ben Mackey beats the offside trap.
The striker has the time and space to place a measured lob over the oncoming John and put the visitors in front
CHIPPENHAM TOWN 0 HEMEL HEMPSTEAD TOWN 1
Another big chance goes begging for Hemel! A dangerous cross causes chaos at the near post but a combination of John and Pete Monks just about cuts out the danger.
Striker Mackey also has another effort, this time going for a speculative lob, and isn't too far off target!
Great save from Ben John! Mackey drills the ball into the feet of strike partner Berwick in the box and the Hemel man jinks left and right to carve out the space for a shot.
But his low effort is blocked by the body of the Chippenham goalie, who kept his eye on the ball all the way
Griffin is shown a yellow card for catching Danny May
Chippenham almost take the lead! From McClennan's free-kick, Smith pumps the ball towards the far post and a Hemel defender makes a block on the line.
The rebound falls to Guthrie, who slides to hook an effort towards goal but keeper Laurie Walker stands up well
Hemel's Oliver Thorne is booked for tripping Alan Griffin
McClennan digs out a corner from the left flank and it's met by the head of Dean but he can't direct his effort on target
Hemel striker Mackey goes for a goal with a well-struck snap-shot on then turn but it flies wide of the mark
When Griffin manages to hold the ball up and bring winger McClennan or Macklin, who is playing up top, into play, Chippenham have carried a threat
Hemel have looked dangerous every time they break forward but the Bluebirds have defended well thus far. Any breakthrough from them looks as though it may have to come on the counter-attack
Big chance for Hemel!
Parkes plays Berwick into the box and he cuts the ball back from the byline. Ben Mackey can't get proper contact on his shot but the ball falls to Daniel Talbot, whose effort is blocked by a Chippenham defender
Moments after that chance went begging, Griffin slid in James Guthrie for a run on goal but he was denied by the offside flag.
Harley Purnell, Rob Dean and McClennan link up well, with the latter seeing his cross turned behind for a corner.
From the resulting kick, Macklin meets the ball at the far post, but doesn't get the proper contact with his side-footed effort!
Hemel play a back-pass and the pacy Macklin almost catches out keeper Walker, who has to boot the ball into touch
Hemel break quickly from a free-kick and striker Berwick is played in on goal but the offside flag comes up. Pete Monks was just about there to cover on the line anyway
It's a lively start here are Hardenhuish Park. Hemel have already moved the ball around nicely, showing that they won't be giving the Bluebirds a moment's rest this afternoon
Lloyd Macklin battles well for the ball and spreads the play to Joe McClennan, whose cross is gathered by keeper Laurie Walker
Hemel pop the ball around early on and win a corner as Jordan Parkes' strike is blocked by Bryan Smith.
From the corner, Tommy Berwick has a strike blocked at the near post
And we're off!
Hemel will kick us off, going from right to left
And here come the two teams
We're told that Jake Simpson's signing hasn't quite been completed yet - but the youngster is here today and there shouldn't be any problems in wrapping up his registration.
Meanwhile, the two sides are just emerging into the tunnel at Chippenham. Not long to go 'tik kick-off
Just over a quarter of an hour 'til kick-off at Hardenhuish Park.
There's a huge challenge on the cards for Chippenham this afternoon as they look to pull off a bit of an upset.
Stick with Bluebirds Live for all of the action as it happens!
So striker Phillips has confirmed that he has suffered a pulled hamstring and doesn't expect to be fit until at least the trip to Hungerford Town on Boxing Day.
Midfielder Harvey was suspended at Totton but also picked up a hamstring problem in training last Thursday - so it looks like a bit of a lay-off for him too
HEMEL HEMPSTEAD TOWN: Laurie Walker, David King, Kyle Connolly, Oliver Thorne, Kieran Murphy, Danny May, Daniel Talbot, David Hutton, Tommy Berwick, Ben Mackey, Jordan Parkes (c).
SUBS: Dave Pearce, Charlie Mpi, Luke Allen, Leiws Toomey, Moussa Diarra.
CHIPPENHAM TOWN TEAM TO PLAY HEMEL HEMPSTEAD TOWN: Ben John, Harley Purnell, Pete Monks, Bryan Smith, Greg Tindle, Tyron Leigh, Joe McClennan, Rob Dean, Alan Griffin (c), Lloyd Macklin, James Guthrie.
SUBS: Corey King, Shane Blackmore, Tom Knighton, Alex Ferguson, Callum Wright.
The teams are in - Bryan Smith goes straight into the Chippenham midfield for his debut, in place of on-loan youngster Alex Ferguson.
Alan Griffin also comes straight back into the starting line-up
Both sides are currently out warming up - we'll bring you the team news when we get it
The early team news is that skipper Alan Griffin returns from injury after missing Tuesday's trip to Totton.
But Lee Phillips picked up a knock in that game and misses out this afternoon, along with midfielder Iain Harvey.
Full-back Jack Allward (pictured) is still yet to recover from the dislocated shoulder he picked up against Merthyr Town in November.
The Bluebirds have also released defender Stuart Tovey but 18-year-old former Swindon youth team midfielder Jake Simpson signed for Collier's men yesterday - however, he's not involved today.
Chippenham chief Collier has continued to re-shape his squad this week, with former Swindon Town man Lloyd Macklin making his debut against Totton in midweek and midfielder Bryan Smith also coming in following his release from Frome Town.
The Bluebirds have gone four games without a win, with boss Collier irked at his side's display last Tuesday night as they slipped a to a disappointing 3-1 loss at AFC Totton.
Meanwhile, Hemel have been in ominous form this season, losing just once, at Hitchin Town on the opening day of the season, and smacking home 20 more goals than anyone else in the division.
So it's a return to Hardenhuish Park today and lying in wait for Mark Collier's men is the looming spectre of league leaders Hemel Hempstead Town.
Bluebirds Live will be bringing you all of the action as it happens, right here on gazetteandherald.co.uk/sport.
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Good afternoon from Hardenhuish Park. After four successive games on the road, Chippenham Town make a welcome return to home soil in the Calor League Premier Division this afternoon.
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