As part of Drive Southwest’s sponsorship of FC Chippenham youth, We’ll bring you the match report after every game……
Stratton Juniors 1 Vs FC Chippenham 4
K/O 10:29am 14.9.2014
A slightly cloudy start to the day and a very even start to this match against the first of several new adversaries this season. Stratton Juniors – an unknown quantity – it was soon evident that our boys were up against a very physical team. The first fifteen minutes saw attacks at both ends but with nothing much happening through the middle and Alex Cook unable to make an impression down the right wing. It was Ash Alchin in particular who drew the attentions of the Stratton defence – the third infringement against him leading to a free kick for FC. From some twenty five yards out, Caine took the kick but was wide off the mark and no Chippenham players were able to make contact with the ball as it went out of play for a Stratton goal kick. At this time the defence of both team were doing their job by holding off all attacking moves.
FC were definitely not getting anything for free in this game as a Stratton “two hands to the ball” in front of a players chest, just inside the centre circle went un-noticed by the referee. On the twenty eighth minute Ash was in the thick of the action again going one on one with the Stratton keeper and coming off worse. Ben Millett replaced Ash for the remainder of the first half and Ciaran Webster and Charlie Martin came on to give Luke D’Arcy and Caine Bradbury a break. Ciaran settled very quickly and within a minute had his first shot – just wide of the goal. At around the half hour mark Stratton were building up several attacks in succession. FC defended a corner successfully and broke away for Ciaran to loft the ball over the Stratton keeper for the first goal of the game on the thirty five minute mark. FC were unable to take this lead in to the half time break as Stratton pulled the score back to 1-1 on forty minutes. Two minutes of injury time was added with no further change to the score line.
The half time break gave the FC boys a chance to re-focus and with Ash and Luke D’Arcy back on the pitch they were both to be involved in the early action. A goal kick from the Stratton keeper fell to the mid field and was quickly seized upon by Luke D’Arcy who picked out Ash on the edge of the eighteen yard box – the resulting half volley was met with a parry forward by the Stratton keeper only to fall favourably for Ben – burying the ball top dead centre of the net with the keeper and two defenders in front of him to give Chippenham a kick start to the second half of the game. A hard fought match continued with everyone playing their part – great saves from both keepers with Conor Chivers having a superb first full match for FC. – the faithful Dan Adams having a well earned rest. The fourteenth minute of the second half saw a grat piece of recovery work from Charlie, winning the ball from the opposition near the halfway line, passing to Luke D’Arcy, a one – two with Caine, Luke Chipping the defence – tantalisingly close to Ash’s right boot but right in to the safe hands of the Stratton keeper. A “blink and you miss it” moment as Luke D’Arcy pulled a goal out of seemingly nowhere and followed it four minutes later with a really slick move, perfect in execution – a throw in from James Robinson midway between the left hand corner flag and half way line, on to Caine who in turn took one touch, passed to Luke D’Arcy just between the “D” and the centre circle – one , two, three touches, setting himself up for his fourth touch right on the eighteen yard line – strike – top right – back of the net! This took the score line to 4-1
The remaining twenty five minutes or so saw more saves from both keepers, dogged defending from both teams, neat passing moves providing good periods of possession. Ash continuing to be a focal point the Stratton defence, lead to more free kicks. One taken by Luke D’Arcy, the other by Josh Drury – unfortunately neither being able to add to the goal tally. The second half saw several of the customary Bill Boakes fine dribbling runs and saw Alex using his speed to find space out on the right wing, firing in several well delivered crosses – unfortunately no goals resulting from them but impressive all the same. A run through from the centre circle gave Alex what could have been a fifth goal for the team when he chipped the keeper but this was flagged “off side”.
To sum it up – solid defence, creative midfield and committed attack – a real pleasure to watch. Stratton pushed the FC Chippenham boys to produce some of their very best performances – both individually and as a team. Thank you to Stratton Juniors for providing their part in this exciting, action packed game. It takes two teams to have a match and we certainly had one today.