CHIPPENHAM TOWN 2
SATURDAY proved to be a damp squib all round for the Terras as they saw their winning streak come to an abrupt end at a sodden and windswept Hardenhuish Park.
Chasing a fourth league win in a row and facing a side without a victory in the last seven, Wey-mouth went into the fixture with high hopes of another three points.
But with near gale-force winds battering the Wiltshire venue and the visitors unable to find their form of recent weeks, Jason Matt-hews and his men ended up with nothing to show for their efforts.
Player-manager Matthews made only one change to the side that started the 3-2 win at Arlesey in the team’s previous outing with Adam Kelly making his debut in place of Luke Winsper who dropped to the bench.
New loan signing Niall Thomp-son was also among the substitutes having arrived from Torquay United in the week, and he would go on to make an almost instant impact when coming on in the second half.
Cheered on by a healthy contingent of travelling supp-orters, the Terras played up the Hardenhuish slope in the first half and against a strengthening wind.
The conditions were such that the hosts enjoyed most of the territory and possession in the first period and they took the lead on 24 minutes.
An earlier Corey King cross had failed to find the target, but this time Alan Griffin’s centre found the head of Rob Dean and he did the rest with a finish that Matthews could do nothing
Former Weymouth man Lee Phillips then squandered a great chance to make it 2-0 to the home side minutes later.
Through one-on-one against Matthews, Phillips guided his shot wide of a post to let the visitors off the hook.
Chippenham duo Aaron Oakley and James Guthrie were booked within a few minutes of each other just after the half-hour mark, and that was when the weather really started to turn.
Driving rain made it almost impossible for both sets of players and, at one point, a Matthews’ goal kick was blown back into the keeper’s hands the wind was that strong.
The rain had abated as the second half got under way but the wind continued to blow.
After a first half slim on goalmouth action, the Terras began the second with more intent and Luke Burbidge found Ben Joyce at the far post only for the latter to be ruled offside.
However, disaster struck on 48 minutes when a miskick by Matthews served the ball on a plate for King and seconds later it was 2-0.
A foul on Kelly gave Scott Walker the opportunity to test Ben John in the Chippenham goal and the midfielder’s free-kick flashed just wide from 25 yards.
Burbidge then fired over from a corner before Walker made way for Thompson.
And less than five minutes later, it was Thompson who helped the Terras halve the deficit.
A superb run across the home side’s area ended with Thompson unleashing a shot that took a deflection, hit a post, and left Stewart Yetton with the easy task of tapping the ball into an empty net from a yard out.
Thompson’s introduction had Chippenham on the back foot but had Guthrie made the most of another one-on-one situation, the game would have been out of sight for the Terras.
A poor challenge by captain Sam Poole brought Weymouth’s only caution of the day with 15 to go, moments before Kelly forced John into a great save.
As the Terras pushed for an equaliser they brought Carl McClements on for Ashley Wells, and the replacement striker may have levelled late on had he not missed getting on the end of a free-kick by a matter of inches.
Chippenham: John, Wright, Monks, Smith, Oakley, Tindle, King, Dean, Griffin, Phillips (Purnell 73), Guthrie. Subs not used: Kauppinen, Leigh, Beeden.
Terras: Matthews, Wells (McClements 84), Green, Kelly, M Walker, Poole, Burbidge, Rigg, Yetton, Joyce, S Walker (Thompson 59). Subs not used: Winsper, McConnell
Bookings: Chippenham – Oakley (foul 32), Guthrie (foul 35)
Terras – Poole (foul 75)
Referee: Adam Penwell (Weston-super-Mare)