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BLUEBIRDS LIVE: Bedford Town 0 Chippenham Town 3
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- FULL-TIME: Bedford Town 0 Chippenham Town 3
- James Guthrie fires home an early opener for the Bluebirds before Lee Phillips hits a quick-fire second half brace
- Dan Barnes reports from the Eyrie
Thanks for following Bluebirds Live this afternoon. We'll have more reaction from today's victory at Bedford Town and more Chippenham Town news in next week's Gazette & Herald.
Follow us on Twitter @gazsport
Bluebirds boss Mark Collier on today's victory at Bedford: "It was about the result. We've come to a team that are bottom of the league and that haven't won in a long time, and we've said to the boys that that will change for them, so don't let them get a result against us.
"It was a professional performance and a job well done. We thought we could have gone into half-time a few goals up but we said to just have a little bit of care and a little bit more quality and we'll create more chances.
"We've then put the game to bed with those couple of goals in the first seven minutes of the second half - Ben John's not had a shot to save too.
"I thought Rob Dean was outstanding in midfield today - he's broke up play and used the ball well - and the two wide men (McClennan and Guthrie) got on the ball a lot and wanted to keep getting in crosses.
"We wanted to get the monkey off of our back and get an away win.
"It was a competent performance and we showed the strength of the squad with a few changes. We've got three goals, three points and a clean sheet, and hopefully we can have a happy coach trip on the way home now."
And that's that. Chippenham Town get the three points they wanted as they notch up a first victory away from home in almost five months.
A confident performance results in a comfortable victory for Mark Collier's men, who avoid a potential banana skin along the way.
There were some fine displays at the Eyrie this afternoon and it'll be a cheerful journey back to the South West for the Bluebirds
BEDFORD TOWN 0 CHIPPENHAM TOWN 3
And from Purnell's delivery, Oakley rises highest to head goalwards but is off-target with his attempt
King blazes past three Bedford defenders with a burst of pace, and wins a last-minute corner
Griffin is challenged and Beeden sweeps a high ball into the box but his cross-cum-shot is gathered by Crockett
Final change for Chippenham - James Guthrie comes off for Jon Beeden
Phillips has the chance to bag his hat-trick but just can't get the vital touch!
Rob Dean plays the ball out to Corey King, who in turn slides in Purnell down the right wing.
The full-back delivers a teasing cross and striker Phillips dives to head home but agonisingly watches the ball fly just out of his reach - frustratingly close!
Griffin charges down a kick from keeper Crockett but the Bedford goalie's blushes are spared as the ball flies away for a goal-kick, rather than towards the unguarded net
In all honesty, the game has fallen into a little bit of a lull, with the Bluebirds comfortably in front.
Let's see if the two Chippenham substitutions can kick-start the momentum again?
Tindle's corss-field ball allows Griffin to smack a cross-shot into the danger area but there's nobody there to take advantage
Corey King comes on for Joe McClennan - he's had a great game, despite looking like he's been struggling with a slight knock all afternoon
Jake Simpson comes off for Bryan Smith as Chippenham make their first change
The Bluebirds work the ball around on the edge of the box and there's a host of ricochets before Tindle blasts high and wide
All of a sudden, Guthrie has a chance to run at the Bedford back line, and the winger goes for goal again but spoons a strike over the bar
McClennan goes for goal with a low left-footed strike but that's easily held by Crockett
Goals are like buses sometimes and Phillips has definitely gotten back on song as he fires in a quick-fire brace.
Chippenham are firmly in the driving seat now
It just gets better and better for the Bluebirds as Lee Phillips gets his second of the afternoon.
McClennan drills in a low cross from the right wing and striker Phillips pokes home into the net from inside the six-yard box
BEDFORD TOWN 0 CHIPPENHAM TOWN 3
"@gazsport: GOAL: Bedford Town 0 Chippenham Town 2 (Phillips) #bluebirdslive" yesss! @Phillo11— @enjaybeeassoc 08 March 2014
That's exactly what the visitors would have wanted as they double their lead just 44 seconds after the break.
It was a fine strike from Phillips and it's a first goal since December for the Bluebirds striker
It's the completely perfect start to the second period for Chippenham! Griffin knocks the ball down as he pressurises the Bedford back line and the bouncing ball is struck early by Lee Phillips, with his effort beating keeper Crockett at his near post
GOAL: BEDFORD TOWN 0 CHIPPENHAM TOWN 2
And the second period is underway
And here come hosts Bedford
The Bluebirds emerge first for the second period
Chippenham haven't dominated a game this much on too many occasions so far this season.
The passing and movement has been fluid from Collier's men and they have created plenty of chances, with Joe McClennan in particular creating a raft of problems for hosts Bedford.
The Eagles meanwhile, look like a side bereft of confidence but as the old adage goes, you need to take your chances when you're on top - it's 1-0 at present and the Bluebirds will be hoping they can increase their lead in the second period to kill off any chances of a fightback
BEDFORD TOWN 0 CHIPPENHAM TOWN 1
Bedford work the ball well and striker Amos Kabeya puts in a cross from the right wing, with Samson Alalade lurking, but John claims the delivery as the danger passes
Just a minute of normal time remaining in this half
SO CLOSE to another from Chippenham.
A perfectly-weighted Guthrie cross comes in from the left wing and Griffin rises to meet it in the box but his header loops over the bar when it looked as though the net was destined to ripple
Phillips' sublime back-heeled flick - which he pulled off whilst spinning, no less - works the ball out to Guthrie on the left but he goes for power again and his effort flies over the crossbar
Bedford's John Sonuga has picked up a knock and is off for some treatment
McClennan pounces on a loose kick from the Bedford goalie and cuts inside off the right wing, breezing past a handful of defenders before going for goal with the outside of his right foot - but the shot flies over the bar
We're past the half-hour mark now and it's been a pretty dominant display from the away side this far.
They're the side creating all the chances but a second goal would just make things a little more comfortable
Oakley shows why he's a centre-half! Guthrie wins the ball back on the edge of the area and the Swindon Town loanee goes for goal with his left foot and skews his shot horribly wide!
Simpson's free-kick is awkwardly punched away by the Bedford goalie
@ChipTownFC come on Chippenham— @burkey_sam 08 March 2014
@ChipTownFC Well done chip, now put your foot down for more goals— @shahazy 08 March 2014
A Bedford free-kick is cleared to the edge of the area and Davis goes for the piledriver but slams his shot high and wide of the mark
There's a chance for Bedford as Greg Tindle misses a header, allowing Jordan Davis to charge towards the area.
The Eagles midfielder looks to have pace to burn but Oakley slids in and superbly nicks the ball away from Davis at the vital moment, allowing Ben John to gather
Guthrie is released by a super ball from midfield, with the winger initially beating full-back Cooper for pace, but the Chippenham man loses his balance as he goes for goal and blasts over from outside the box
A nicely-worked move almost results in a second for the Bluebirds.
Purnell's clipped cross is chested down by Lee Phillips, allowing Alan Griffin to hit one on the half-volley - the striker's dipping effort swerves not far over the crossbar, with keeper Crockett sprawling
McClennan is finding space a lot in the early stages and the hosts need to keep a closer eye on the Chippenham winger.
A couple of neat interchanges with full-back Harley Purnell have almost heralded results
It's just what the doctor ordered for Mark Collier's men. A well-worked goal dissipates any early nerves the Bluebirds may have had and now the onus is on them to build on their lead
It's the perfect start for Chippenham! McClennan works his way into the box and jinks this way and that before drilling a low cross into the danger area.
Keeper Lee Crockett is a spectator as James Guthrie blasts into the net emphatically to make it 1-0!
GOAL: BEDFORD TOWN 0 CHIPPENHAM TOWN 1
After an opening bout of head tennis, the Bluebirds begin to move the ball around well and Joe McClennan has a shot charged down
And we're off at the Eyrie
Bedford will kick us off, going from right-to-left
It's a bit early but the two teams are on their way out!
Confirmation that Kauppinen is getting some game time for Corsham:
Team Sheet: @corshamtownfc v @ChardTownFC @bathsport @gazsport @TSWesternleague http://t.co/ge9EWdQUSL— @johncuppy 08 March 2014
The two sides have headed back into the dressing rooms and there's about 12 minutes to go until kick-off at the Eyrie
It's a glorious day in Bedfordshire by the way - can Chippenham bring start to address their away record this afternoon?
Stick with Bluebirds Live for all of the action as it happens!
Budget cuts and managerial changes have been the order of the day at Bedford this campaign and it's a much-changed Eagles squad from the one that triumphed so emphatically at Hardenhuish Park last year.
There are just four players in today's squad that featured at Chippenham - Paul Cooper, Jordan Jarrold, John Sonuga and Jeremy Nash
BEDFORD TOWN: Lee Crockett, Paul Cooper, Jordan Jarrold, Jamie Nicholls, Stuart Wall (c), John Sonuga, Jordan Davis, Stefan Powell, Samson Alalade, Amos Kabeya, Luca Seminerio.
SUBS: Josh McGoldrick, Jeremy Nash, Sam Macrae, Kerran Birch, Alex Thomas.
CHIPPENHAM TOWN TEAM TO PLAY BEDFORD TOWN: Ben John, Harley Purnell, Pete Monks, Jake Simpson, Aaron Oakley, Greg Tindle, Joe McClennan, Rob Dean, Alan Griffin (c), Lee Phillips, James Guthrie.
SUBS: Corey King, Callum Wright, Iain Harvey, Bryan Smith, Jon Beeden.
The teams are in nice and promptly at Bedford.
Oakley comes straight back into the Chippenham side, along with Guthrie.
Young midfielder Jake Simpson retains his place in midfield whilst Bryan Smith and Jon Beeden drop to the bench
The major team news for Chippenham is that Swindon Town defender Aaron Oakley (pictured) has again returned to the club on a month's loan – that's a third month in a row for the big centre-back.
Meanwhile, winger James Guthrie is back in the squad after missing the last two games through suspension.
Tyron Leigh is missing through illness whilst back-up keeper Kent Kauppinen isn't in the squad today - he's expected to be playing for Corsham Town
But the Bluebirds have been stung before. Trips to similarly struggling sides AFC Totton and Bashley have already resulted in disappointing 3-1 defeats so the term 'banana skin' couldn't be more appropriate.
But on paper, this afternoon's trip to struggling Bedford presents the perfect opportunity for Mark Collier's men to bring about a turnaround in their away day fortunes.
The Eagles may have thrashed Chippenham 4-1 at Hardenhuish Park earlier this season but they're now rock bottom of the table and are enduring a wretched season – Bedford have lost their last 16 games in a row.
It's an intriguing clash on the cards this afternoon.
Chippenham have struggled on the road so far this season, with their last away victory coming when they beat Frome Town in the Red Insure Cup last October, and you have to go even further back to find the Bluebirds' last league triumph away from home – that was all the way back in September when a single goal was enough to take all three points at Stourbridge.
As usual, get involved with Bluebirds Live this season and have your say on Chippenham Town's fortunes on and off the pitch.
Get in touch via Twitter using the hashtag #bluebirdslive, comment in the box below or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org – but please keep your thoughts clean!
Good afternoon from the New Eyrie. Bluebirds Live has made the long trip to Bedfordshire to bring you live updates from Chippenham Town's Calor League Premier Division clash with Bedford Town.
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