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Hitchin Town 1 Chippenham Town 1

Monday, December 8 2014

Hitchin came from a goal behind to gain a draw at home against Chippenham Town. A first-half goal from Chippenham's Alan Griffin and a second-half strike from Jonny McNamara ensured both sides picked up a point at Top Field.

Chippenham started the game the brighter side and it was Mark Franks who quickly identified himself as the one to watch.

It took just nine minutes for the visitors to take the lead, and it was Franks who capitalised on the vast amount of space gifted to him out wide. The Bluebirds' midfielder cruised up the wing with ease, and his well placed cross provided Chippenham Captain Alan Griffin with an easy tap in.

Minutes after the restart, Greg Tindle headed wide from a Chippenham corner.
Chippenham continued to grow in confidence, which was evident by James Guthrie's attempt to go for the spectacular from long-range. His volley did dip but did not really cause Canaries' keeper Charlie Horlock any trouble as it soared over the crossbar.

Hitchin were determined to get back in to the game after the early goal but Chippenham were defending in numbers. Nat Peacock was continually crowded out when on the ball and although he managed to wriggle free from his marker on several occasions, he was soon tackled by another Chippenham player.

In the 15th minute, a clever corner from Hitchin gave Brett Donnelly two chances at goal but his first chance saw him scuff his shot in to the defence, and the second was an easy catch for Bluebirds' goalkeeper Kent Kaupinen.

In the 17th minute, McNamara weaved his way in to the box but his shot could only find the side netting.

Hitchin were lucky not to fall further behind when a lack of concentration gifted Mark Preece with a free header in the 34th minute. The Canaries must have been relieved to see Preece's header go wide.

Chippenham continued to shut down Hitchin's attacks, with Peacock, Lench and Donnelly all left with little time on the ball.

Just before half-time, McNamara received treatment for a ball to the face.

Half-Time Hitchin Town 0-1 Chippenham Town

Hitchin started the second-half with much more energy than the first-half and they got an equaliser just seven minutes in.

Peacock's persistence up top finally rewarded him with an opportunity - one that he took with little hesitation. The Hitchin forward capitalised on a mis-clearance and promptly proceeded on goal before passing out wide to McNamara. McNamara still had work to do but he struck the ball with some force to draw the hosts level.

The goal induced some confidence in to the home side and they should have taken the lead just two minutes later when Lench found himself through on goal with just the keeper to beat. The Canaries' midfielder, however, uncharacteristically shot straight at Kaupinen.

The match then turned in to a game of equal opportunities, with both sides having their share of bright and messy spells. 

Dan Webb had the chance to put the Canaries in front from a corner kick, but his header was well wide, and at the other end, Chippenham's Greg Tindle saw his free header go straight in to the arms of Horlock.

There were fewer opportunities as the game drew close to its conclusion, with Donnelly having the last real chance of the game in the 80th minute. Kaupinen, however, was down quickly to save the Hitchin forward's strike.

Full-Time: Hitchin Town 1-1 Chippenham Town

Hitchin: Horlock, Rolfe, Corran, Ann, Webb, Barker, McNamara, Lench (Galliford 68') Donnelly, Peacock, Rees
Subs (not used): Martin, Kirkpatrick, Green, Waldren

Chippenham: Kaupinen, Ballinger, Beeden, Smith, Tindle, Preece, Ferguson (Harvey 77'), Franks (Edwards 68'), Griffin, Pook, Guthrie
Subs (not used): Osman, Campbell

Bookings: McNamara (Hitchin)

Goals: Griffin 9' (Chippenham)
McNamara 52' (Hitchin)

Hitchin Man of the Match: Jonny McNamara

Attendance: 201


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