Chips fi­nally get back up and run­ning

The Non-League Football Paper - - NATIONAL LEAGUE SOUTH - By Wil Hul­bert

DE­SPITE tak­ing a first-minute lead, Chip­pen­ham will be grate­ful of the point that ended their four-match point­less run against their im­pres­sive Es­sex vis­i­tors.

The Blue­birds were given the ideal start on 50 sec­onds when Andy San­dell found re­cent sign­ing Jake Jack­son and he turned and beat Nathan Mc­Don­ald from the edge of the area.

San­dell then al­most dou­bled the lead from a dip­ping free kick that just cleared the bar. From the re­sult­ing goal kick the ball was swept down­field where the home de­fence dithered and Reece Grant took ad­van­tage to round Jared Thomp­son and slide home the equaliser.

The Iron then went on to press the home side back forc­ing the Blue­birds to rely on break­aways. One such move saw Alex Fer­gu­son cut in from the wing and his 30-yard shot was par­ried in the air be­fore be­ing caught by Mc­Don­ald.

The home side had an es­cape just past the half hour when Thomp­son left his area to head clear but only suc­ceeded in find­ing Billy Crook whose at­tempted lob cleared the empty goal.

Matt Smith had an early sec­ond half chance for the Blue­birds when his close range vol­ley went straight at Mc­Don­ald. Af­ter that it was Brain­tree who looked the more likely to score but they could not pierce a res­o­lute home de­fence for the sec­ond time. The clos­est they came was when Phil Roberts raced across the area be­fore fir­ing a low shot just wide.

STAR MAN: Jake Jack­son (Chip­pen­ham) EN­TER­TAIN­MENT: ★★★★★

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