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22.11.2011 at 19:45 Hardenhuish Park

Attendance : 287

Chippenham Town

4 - 0

St Albans City

Referee : Andy Newell (North Yate) Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division

Toby Osman (13)
Ross Stearn (19)
Lewis Powell (70)
Lewis Powell (89)
Opening squads
Will Puddy
Mani Randhawa
Shaun Lamb
Ashley Williams
Steve Casey
Iain Harvey
Ross Stearn
Toby Osman
Lewis Powell
Alan Griffin
James Guthrie
Nick Jupp
Ryan Watts
Michael Harriman
Barrie Matthews
Ryan Moran
Matt Cutchey
David Ijaha
Sean Shields
Danny Hart
Rob Haworth
Mo Shariff
Andy Sandell
Jack Pitcher
Aaron Wilson
Tobi Jinadu
Jerome Walker
Joackim Ehui
Sakho Bakare
James Bent
Jack Pitcher -> Alan Griffin (75) Sakho Bakare -> Mo Shariff (37)
Jerome Walker -> Danny Hart (46)
Joackim Ehui -> Rob Haworth (75)
Yellow cards
Mani Randhawa (36)
Ashley Williams (90)
David Ijaha (67)
Matt Cutchey (68)
Red cards
None None.
Match report
After two encouraging performances St Albans City reverted to type on Tuesday and were ruthlessly crushed 4-0 in the Southern League at Hardenhuish Park by a rampant Chippenham Town.

David Howell’s prophecy that his City side is ‘born again’ was shattered on a cold winter’s evening in Wiltshire and with just four points from nine away games St Albans now have the worst away record in the Premier Division and travel to fourth placed Leamington on Saturday with some trepidation.

City have been making optimistic noises over the past week following an influx of new faces and two decent performances but now Howell looks to be back at square one.

Of the four new boys Nathan Ralph has already returned to Peterborough United, Chris O’Leary has left abruptly to rejoin Wealdstone and striker Mo Shariff went off before half time at Chippenham with a back injury.

Howell made two enforced changes from the side that drew with Brackley Town at the weekend.

With 43-year-old Paul Furlong unavailable City opted for the exuberance of youth and recalled Rob Haworth who turned 36 on Monday. The experienced striker was also given the captain’s armband.

Following O’Leary’s sudden departure, after just two games, Barrie Matthews returned the centre of the midfield.

Chippenham are currently battling against injuries and suspensions themselves and made three changes from the side that drew at Arlesey at the weekend, manager Adie Mings could also name only three substitutes.

The game got off to a lively start with City going close to taking a first minute lead. Shariff, under pressure, scooped the ball into the goalmouth, Haworth headed it wide of the goal to Danny Hart whose close range effort was blocked by Town defender Iain Harvey at the cost of a corner.

An early goal may have provided a platform upon which City could have improved their dire away record but on 13 minutes it was the in-form Bluebirds that took a grip on proceedings.

Stearn crossed from the Town right to Osman who was allowed far too much space and after lifting ball over Michael Harriman shot powerfully to Jupp’s right for an excellent opening goal.

Six minutes later Jupp, believing Stearn’s cross from the Town right to be going over, watched the ball closely but at the last moment realised it was going under the crossbar and could only help it on its way into the back of the net.

With less than a quarter of the game gone City were as good as out of the contest and Stearn felt confident enough to attempt an audacious half-volleyed effort from out wide, following a pass from the influential Osman, that whistled over the City goal.

St Albans suffered a further blow on 37 minutes when Shariff went off complaining of a lower-back problem. The on-loan QPR striker’s position was filled by City’s leading goal scorer Sakho Bakare.

Four minutes from the break Chippenham lost a clear opportunity to add a third goal when Osman intercepted Alan Griffin’s intended pass James Guthrie and, with all the time in the world, fired over the target.

Just prior to the half time whistle Hart sent a dipping chipped shot just over the home goal. It was to be his final contribution before being replaced by Jerome Walker during the interval.

Playing up the Hardenhuish slope during the second period City got off to promising start with Ryan Moran sending a header onto the roof of the goal following a Sean Shields corner.

Another Shields corner was met by Bakare but the unmarked Frenchman could only direct his header onto Will Puddy’s right hand upright.

The woodwork was struck for a second time on 61 minutes when a Matthews cross was helped on by Haworth and then Matt Cutchey before Bakare cushioned a header into Haworth’s path who went for power rather than precision and blazed a stinging drive against the top side of the crossbar when it looked easier to score.

Chippenham responded positively with Lewis Powell only being denied by the feet of Jupp while Stearn, from another outrageous position, came within a whisker of curling a free kick from close to the goal-line to just inside the far post.

But the Chippenham pressure was mounting and a third goal came on 70 minutes.

Stearn retrieved an over-hit cross and clipped the ball back in from the right for Powell, unmarked inside the six-yard box to head home his first goal of the season.

Walker showed a glimpse of his talent when setting off on a scintillating run before slipping the ball inside the Joakim Ehui but the Frenchman, struggling to stay on his feet throughout the second half let alone make an impact, scuffed the ball weakly wide.

Now playing with his tail up Powell had a free kick blocked but drilled the follow up towards the bottom corner of the goal where the diving Jupp made an excellent save with Cutchey completing the clearance.

A regular goal scorer over the past two seasons Powell was hungry for more and on 89 minutes claimed the fourth Bluebirds goal when beating Jupp with a wonderful low right-footed strike from 20 yards.
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