NWL U13 Division 1: CCCFC Whites 0 FC Chippenham Whites 3
Three first-half goals proved the difference as the Whites slipped to a derby defeat in their final home league fixture in 9v9 football.
FC Chippenham, challenging hard for the North Wilts Division 1 title, displayed their credentials during the opening 20 minutes. Although the Colts held their own after that, they found clear goalscoring opportunities scarce against a solid defensive unit and never truly threatened a comeback.
The hosts found themselves penned in during the early exchanges as Chippenham pushed forward down the slope, playing some decent football considering the unreliable and heavy surface. Bradley, Josh and Luke S combined well as a back three and Max pulled off a couple of cracking reflex saves as the visitors probed away, while Matthew sent a low drive straight at the keeper after a fine burst forward and Brandon H set up a half-chance for George after some strong play on the left.
Yet again, it was the Colts’ vulnerability at set-pieces that left them chasing the game. A free header from the game’s best player following a right-wing corner broke the deadlock and two more goals soon followed. The next was a magnificent 20-yard free-kick which found the top corner, before a hooked overhead finish after another corner was not properly dealt with looped into the net despite Bradley’s desperate attempt to head it off the line.
Heads might have dropped at that stage but there was no repeat of the capitulation at Supermarine a fortnight earlier and the hardworking Tom and Matthew began to gain a foothold in midfield, while Liam F grew in influence out wide as the first half drew to a close. A typically dangerous corner from Toby almost produced a response, but Matthew’s header drifted wide of the far post.
With the slope in their favour, the Colts were tasked with winning the second half but could find no way past a strong and athletic Chippenham defence as Callum, Luke VDB and George all battled away in vain in the final third.
Bradley, from the heart of the defence, and Matthew showed excellent 1v1 technique to break the Chippenham lines and the latter went close again in the latter stages of the contest, reacting quickest to a loose ball on the edge of the box before seeing his low shot blocked by a defender.