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Ebbsfleet United (A)
Sat Dec 3

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Ebbsfleet United (A)
Sat Dec 3 12:30
The Vanarama National League South

Chippenham defeat pushes Rebels out of playoff spots

| League
Att: 753
Slough Town
0 - 1
Chippenham Town
Sandell (50)
Sean Fraser
This contest between two of the top five at the start of play went the way of Chippenham Town, who climbed to second in the table thanks to Andy Sandell's second-half winner.

Following this important win at Arbour Park, with the artificial 3G surface surviving recent freezing temperatures, The Bluebirds are now ten games unbeaten and sit just one point and one place below leaders Leamington; but for hosts Slough Town other results have pushed them out of the playoff spots, with their promotion hopes continuing to falter having now suffered three consecutive league defeats.

Slough started the first half well though, and after Chris Flood was almost set clear on goal with a dink over the top from Simon Dunn, top scorer James Dobson went close with a beautifully hit volley which only found the side netting, with many in the impressive crowd of over 750 thinking he had scored.

Just a minute later, Chippenham cleared off the line after Flood had rounded keeper Darren Chitty, and the keeper held a long-range strike from Dunn, whilst Rebels striker Gavin James saw a shot blocked in the goalmouth.

The visitors worked their way into the contest and Slough keeper Mark Scott spread himself to block from Sandell after the striker had beaten Guy Hollis, after which the game fell into a lull. Dobson and Sandell were both well off target with free kicks and Chippenham midfielder Matt Smith smashed a shot over from the edge of the box on 43 minutes.

Chances were at a premium and with both defences on top, the match really needed a goal - and Sandell provided it five minutes into the second half.

It came after a corner which was flicked on by Will Richards, and the experienced striker converted with a far post volley - a moment which proved decisive.

Following the goal, Slough failed to carry the same level of threat they did for much of the first half. The home side made a double change to try and change the course of the game, but looked toothless as they struggled to pick their way through the visitors, who soaked up the pressure and defended strongly to see out the result.

Chippenham remained a threat on the break, and Sandell almost found himself in front of goal again but a superb covering challenge from Guy Hollis denied him.

Slough striker Flood headed a corner over the bar and with six minutes left and the hosts piling on the pressure, substitute Charlie Moone's effort was deflected up and onto the crossbar.

Chitty preserved his side's lead with a stoppage-time save from Flood’s volley, tipping the ball wide of the post.

Slough will now look to Tuesday evening's trip to struggling St Neots as a chance to revive their promotion hopes.

Chippenham Town Line up

Darren Chitty, Dan Bowman, Nuno Felix, Gary Horgan, Greg Tindle (c), Will Richards, Alex Ferguson, Matt Smith (Joe McClennan), Dave Pratt, Andy Sandell, Matt Jones (James Guthrie). Subs not used: Mario Mateus, Michael Pook, Jon Beeden.

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