REFEREE Aaron Moody took centre stage at the Avenue tonight, sending off three players and booking five others as Chippenham claimed all three points courtesy of a Luke Ballinger header.

Eastleigh official Moody dismissed Chippenham’s Toby Osman and Iain Harvey before giving the Magpies’ Steve Walker his marching orders.

Dan Smith, who scored two goals against Hereford on Saturday, was heavily involved in the opening stages of the match.

He had the first effort on target after just 25 seconds and was then played a part in the incident that led to Chippenham going down to 10 men.

The Magpies’ player clashed with visiting right-back Osman right in front of the home dug out and the former then fell to the ground clutching his face.

After consulting his linesman, the Eastleigh official Aaron Moody showed Osman a straight red card, much to the consternation of the Chippenham contingent who felt Smith was play acting.

Nick Crittenden had a great opportunity to break the deadlock on 18 minutes but the midfielder pulled his shot wide with only the keeper to beat.

The referee then had no option but to book Steve Walker for a foul on Alex Ferguson in the 25th minute – Smith had also been cautioned for his part in the incident which led to Osman’s dismissal.

Despite having a man advantage, the hosts couldn’t find the breakthrough in the first half, but their opponents could.

Oakley Hanger was guilty of not clearing the ball in his own box when he had the chance, James Guthrie crossed and Ballinger’s header beat Alan Walker-Harris.

The Magpies’ keeper was nearly caught out on 51 minutes when Jon Beeden’s cross glanced off the top of the crossbar, while at the other end half-time substitute Sam Lanahan was unable to make the most of a good chance from close range.

Visiting keeper Kent Kauppinen pushed a Smith effort on to a post before getting up to deny Callum Buckley, then there were four yellow cards in the space of five minutes – Ben McCready and Harvey for Chippenham, Dan Cann and Jake Smeeton for Dorchester.

In the midst of all that both sides had opportunities to score. Smeeton glanced a header wide from a free-kick and Ballinger fired straight at Walker-Harris with just the keeper to beat.

The flurry of cards continued in the last 15 minutes. Chippenham were reduced to nine when Iain Harvey was shown a second yellow and then the same happened to Steve Walker, leaving the hosts with 10 men for the closing stages.

A Smeeton free-kick clipped the angle of post and bar but there was no way through for the Magpies.

Magpies: Walker-Harris 6, Hanger 5 (Godfrey 74, 5), Buckley 6, Smeeton 5, N Walker 6, S Walker 5, Crittenden 6, Gleeson 6, Cann 6, Agbo 5 (Lanahan 46, 6), D Smith 7. Subs not used: S Smith, Brookes, Murphy.

Chippenham: Kauppinen, Osman, Beeden, Coupe, Tindle, Harvey, Ferguson, Roberts, Simpson (McCready 12), Ballinger, Guthrie. Subs not used: Leigh, Evans, Monks, Wright.

Yellow cards: Magpies – D Smith (ungentlemanly conduct, 9), S Walker (foul, 25, foul 82), Cann (foul, 64), Smeeton (foul, 66)

Chippenham – McCready (foul, 61), Harvey (dissent, 62, dissent, 79), Tindle (accumulation of fouls, 77)

Red cards: Magpies – S Walker (two bookable offences, 82)

Chippenham – Osman (violent conduct, 8), Harvey (two bookable offences, 79)

Referee: Aaron Moody (Eastleigh)

Attendance: 295