An inspired substitution secured us a magnificent away win in our previous fixture. Hopefully, we wont require a change to see us to victory. But we’re up against the team that knocked us out of the FA Cup, so I’m not holding my breath…
A fiery half time team talk fired up the lads against East Thurrock – hopefully it will continue to act as inspiration (or a warning!) as we board the bus for our next game.
We reached expectations in exiting the FA Cup at the Fourth Qualifying Round, but we’re a couple of places up on our expected finish in the league. After a lengthy journey back from Woking (made longer by reflecting on defeat), we board the bus again for an even longer mid-week trip to Chelmsford.
Our last match saw us claim a somewhat fortunate win in the league. The alternating between the league and the FA Cup continues. One thing is for certain though as we board the bus – we’re going to need to play much better if we’re going to be in the FA Cup First Round and potentially travelling to (or hosting) the likes of Sunderland, Portsmouth or Swindon Town.
It was a very lucky point that we gained against Dulwich Hamlet in our last match. Our attention switches back to the FA Cup and we’re going to need a better away performance it we’re to even reach the minimum expectation of the Fourth Qualifying Round.
Goals and drama aplenty last time out. But it’s time to switch our attention from the league to the FA Cup. Hopefully, for the first time this season. Will this be our only game in the FA Cup this season?
Things were close (but pretty uneventful) against Concord Rangers, so hopefully a road trip to Devon (in what seems to be becoming our home away from home) will bring more excitement and three more points.
Will we win in Devon?
Following our narrow loss against Billericay Town, we’re straight back in action. Well, not straight away because there’s the rest of Saturday, the whole of Sunday and the first 15 hours of Monday, but comparatively speaking, we’re straight back in action. With a heavily changed team following Saturday’s game, which was selected with this game against Hampton and Richmond Borough in mind.
We’ve travelled west, we’ve travelled east and now we’re back on familiar pastures. We’ve also had no mid-week game for the first time this season, giving me plenty of well-rested players. Which is probably just as well considering we welcome table-topping Billericay Town, who have yet to drop a point. Will we be the first team to take a point off Billericay Town?
Chippenham Town Lineup:
Welling United Lineup:
Odds: Chippenham Town=13/8, Draw=2/1, Welling United=6/4
Referee: Mr. Adam Penwell
I’m delighted that Mr. Penwell leads Curtis McDonald and the rest of the lads out – he was referee for our last home game and we all know how that went. Don’t we? If not, head back up to the top and click the link to read about our magnificent performance against Slough. There’s plenty of action and a video of Hussein Mohammed’s 2014 Netherlands V Spain-esque goal. But anywho, that’s the past and our focus is on Welling United.
We show every sign of picking up where we left off last time and put Welling under some early pressure. 8 minutes in, Yan Klukowski snaps a shot off from 20 yards that whistles over the bar. It’s a warning for Welling and one that perhaps they would do well to heed. Although if they don’t, it could be great from our perspective of course.
With 19 minutes on the clock, George O’Neill crosses from the left. His cross reaches Klukowski, who is 18 yards out. Klukowski advances a couple of yards and pulls the trigger.
It’s both his first for the club and (quite obviously following on from the previous) his first of the season. We’re back up and running. Look out Welling!
The key after scoring is to keep your concentration and limit the chances of the opposition. So it’s somewhat (for somewhat, read incredibly) disappointing that one minute later, the scores are level again. McCallum crosses to the far post from the left. Gibbons chests the ball down and unleashes a volley from 6 yards, giving Bradley House no time to even react as it flies past him and into the net.
The instant response makes for a cagey game, with both sides seemingly aware of what the other can do. With two minutes to go until half time, Will Richards plays a ball over the top. Hussein Mohammed gets to it and cuts it back from the right byeline. It goes across the face of the goal to the far post, where O’Neill is 6 yards out. It’s a first time shot and… straight at Jackson. The ball is parried by Jackson, who to be fair was probably expecting to be picking the ball out of the net rather than having it hit straight at him. Welling clear and the teams return to the dressing room with the score level.
It’s a pretty slow start to the second half, with the first real action of note coming 16 minutes into the half when McDonald shoots from 18 yards. He’s not necessarily the player I’d have been expecting to have a shot, but is there a full back in the world that doesn’t actually believe they’re a striker? Get them within about 30 yards and they’ll have a go, regardless of the difficulty of the shot. Normally followed by a surprised look as a spectator in row Z/the linesman (delete depending on how heavily sliced or pulled the ball is) narrowly avoids being hit. McDonald’s effort is better than that and is on target, but Jackson saves.
Three minutes later, McDonald plays a ball over the top. Mohammed outpaces the defence and pulls the ball back from the left. O’Neill runs onto the ball like a steam train and thumps a fierce first time effort. Straight at Jackson, who catches the ball. He’s getting into some good positions, but the end product isn’t there at the moment. I’m starting to think he needs a slice of luck to get his first and then hopefully he’ll be up and running.
I make a couple of substitutions in the 64th and 75th minute, with Seika Jatta replacing Mohammed and Lewis Ellington coming on for Karnell Chambers respectively. The substitutions have an impact, but not the desired one. One minute after my second change, McCallum crosses from the left to the far post, where Gibbons is. We’ve been here before. Gibbons is four yards out. The cross is higher this time, so Gibbons heads. Over, thankfully.
With seven minutes remaining, Goldberg steps up to take a free kick from 20 yards. He gets it over the wall, but can’t get the ball to drop down in time and House watches it over the bar. House is also able to watch an effort from Mills, who is 18 yards out, with two minutes to go as both sides leave with a point.
Chippenham Town Ratings:
Mohammed 6.3, Chambers 6.3
Welling United Ratings:
Braham-Darrett 6.1, Kissock 6.2, Paterson 6.5
League Position: 10th
On balance, it was probably a fair result. O’Neill had a couple of great chances to give us the lead and/or a comfortable victory, but Welling came into the game following my changes. After we conceded immediately after scoring, I feared the worst, but the lads dug in and were arguably the better side.
The barnstorming victory over Slough has evidently been the talk of the town and I receive the final number of season tickets sold. 65.
There’s good new on the injury front, which is just as well with games coming thick and fast (we’re in mid-week action again following the match against Welling) – Jack Compton returns to full training following his injury.
The Vanarama National League South Team of the Week is announced and we’re well represented with three players included. Congratulations George Rigg, Will Richards and Yan Klukowski.
Read from The Chips Are Town #1
It’s safe to say that an opening day defeat without scoring was not the start to the season I hoped for. In fact, quite the opposite. But we’re back in action mid-week with our first home game of the season when we welcome Slough Town to Hardenhuish Park. Hopefully we can put a disappointing start to the season behind us with a good start at home.
Chippenham Town Lineup:
Slough Town Lineup:
Odds: Chippenham Town=6/4, Draw=2/1, Slough Town=13/8
Referee: Mr. Adam Penwell
Continue reading my home debut as manager of Chippenham Town
Pre-season is done and dusted. Now the real football begins. Win today and the fans will go home with visions of lifting the title. Draw and it’s a promise of better things to come. Lose and fans will be wondering where the first point will come from and whether it’s going to be a struggle to avoid relegation. All aboard and lets find out which it is. Which will it be?
Ah, yes; football. As promised last time out, there will be football in this episode. Continue reading about pre-season