The Chips Are Town #18 – By hook or by Crook

Demolishing a lower league side in the FA Cup is all well and good, but the board are not going to get carried away with results like that. They want performances and results in the league. And next up in the league we have a tough test.

Pre-Match: Chippenham Town (10th) V Dartford (8th) – Saturday 13th October 2018 – Vanarama National League South

Venue:

Chippenham Town Lineup:

Dartford Lineup:

Odds: Chippenham Town=6/4, Draw=2/1, Dartford=13/8
Referee: Mr. Richard Hulme

Granted we conceded right at the end of our win at Harrow, but it would be fair to say that we had things pretty much our own way there. Dartford make it clear early doors that this won’t be the case against them. Four minutes in, Hayes decides his best option 30 yards out is to shoot. It’s a low shot and Brad House saves comfortably, but it’s an early warning that we’re in for a tougher test now that we’ve returned to league action.

Any remaining lingering doubts are definitely dispelled in the 11th minute. Isaac shoots from 25 yards and finds the post. Sam-Yorke pounces on the rebound and tucks it home from 6 yards. I can’t have a go at my defence for letting him pick up and score the rebound because he was so far offside that even Filippo Inzaghi, he who was born offside according to Sir Alex Ferguson, would be surprised. No goal, but another warning for us. It’s also a concern because we’re the home side, but they’re making all the running.

If Chris Kamara were asked to sum up the first half, he’d have to describe it as unbelievable, with the description being based on the fact that nothing else of note happens until one minute before the whistle. George Rigg sends in a cross to the far post from the right. Who should pop up on the far post but Jordan Adekunle.

Adekunle steers a cushioned volley from 8 yards into the Dartford net. It’s Adekunle’s 4th goal of the season and 3rd in two games. Glad he’s put the shooting boots on!

It’s arguably an undeserved lead that we take into the changing rooms, but it’s not as though Dartford have been persistently knocking on the door. Yes, they started the better side, but didn’t kick on from there. I’ll be a happy (if bored) manager if the second half is equally uneventful and there are no further goals.

Of course, I’d like us to score more. Eight minutes into the second half, Yan Klukowski swings a corner in and Will Richards meets the ball with his head 6 yards out at the near post. It’s a typically firm header from Richards and it grazes the bar on the way over.

Noble fouls Klukowski in the 57th minute. Noble receives a yellow card from Mr. Hulme for his trouble, whilst Klukowski holds his thigh. He’s picked up a knock, but will be able to continue. Although it’s not great news he’s picked up a knock, he’s a key player for us and this is a tight game so I need him out there. Although I won’t be letting him play the full 90.

Mike Jones lifts a ball over the top on the hour mark. Hussein Mohammed helps the ball on with his head, looping a header over Nicholls and into the net. It’s a replica of his first ever goal for the club. Or at least it would be if the linesman’s flag wasn’t up. Mohammed was a yard offside and the one-goal lead remains.

Klukowski’s knock concerns me because he is a key player for me (something I think I may have already mentioned once or twice!!), so I withdraw him as a precaution to prevent his thigh tightening up any further. Conor Levingston enters the fray as his replacement for the final quarter of the match. Seika Jatta replaces Mohammed in the 78th minute.

With seven minutes to go, Onyemah shoots from 20 yards out. Thankfully, House is able to watch the ball go wide. Deep into stoppage time (the third of three minutes), Lewis Ellington comes on for Jack Compton as I waste some seconds to see out the victory.

Post-Match:

Chippenham Town Ratings:

Klukowski 6.8, Compton 6.7, Mohammed 6.4

Dartford Ratings:

Pritchatt 6.4, Isaac 6.6, Hayes 6.4

Attendance: 601
League Position: 9th

Well, the less said about that match the better perhaps. It was a pretty dour affair (to be generous) and the only joy that we or the majority of the crowd can take is that it’s three more points. Neither side ever really got going and put together a decent spell of pressure.

Our last four games have seen two lower league sides put to the sword, whilst the two league games have been matches devoid of too much action and yet we’ve come out of them with 4 points. They normally say that good sides pick up points they don’t deserve, so that’s a good sign because we’ve done so little in the match as Dulwich Hamlet and here against Dartford.

The moment I’ve been dreading – the physio report on Yan Klukowski. Thankfully, it’s nothing too serious. Isabella Beckworth reports that Klukowski is suffering from a tight thigh and will be out for 2-3 days. He may very well feature in our FA Cup tie at Woking, which is up next.

Audrius Laucys has a game to remember for Lithuania U21s, playing a 7.6 and scoring. Unfortunately, his performance doesn’t prevent a 2-1 loss to Poland U21s.

On the training ground, I make Gareth Keenan the bib monitor.

Read from The Chips Are Town #1

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Follow Dartford on Twitter

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