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Ahenkorah earns Town a point against high-fliers

Wellesbourne Airfield
Wellesbourne Airfield

It was hardly a classic, with few chances and neither keeper really rested, but Town showed their character to bounce back after conceding after barely a minute.

Shoddy defending presented Ashan Holgate with the chance to fire home after 64 seconds and Chippenham, who started the day in fourth, looked the more creative in the first half.

But Ahenkorah hauled Town level on 32 minutes, slotting home from close-range and Stratford edged the second period.

Carl Adams’ side suffered the worst possible start when they handed Chippenham the lead just 64 seconds in the game.

Keeper Andy Kemp and centre-back Marcel Simpson dawdled in trying to clear a long punt forward from Chris Allen and Holgate nicked the ball and sent a smart half-volley into the net.

Stratford looked shaky, giving the ball away as they tried to get a foothold in the game.

Aaron Moses-Garvey had Bluebirds keeper Kent Kauppinen scrambling from a 20-yard free-kick but the ball flew past the right-hand upright.

But Chippenham looked the more threatening and should have added a second goal on 29 minutes. Matt Smith sent a right-wing corner into the six-yard box but Holgate’s shot was straight at Kemp.

It was to prove significant when, instead of being 2-0, Chippenham were pegged backcthree minutes later. Bluebirds midfielder Alex Ferguson was booked for flattening Emmitt Delfouneso and Town added to the punishment when Liam Francis headed back Andy Kemp’s deep free-kick and Ahenkorah tapped home from six yards.

It was still nip and tuck after that and Chippenham were denied by the woodwork on 39 minutes when Smith’s flick from James Guthrie hit the bar.

In the second half, Stratford had more possession, but Bluebirds keeper Kent Kauppinen was never tested.

Too often the home side just lack the cutting edge in the final third.

A Kieren Westwood angled effort was deflected for a corner and Simpson’s shot rebounded into the keeper’s gloves while Ahenkorah’s drive was a comfortable take at the near post.

Town No 1 Kemp was equally underemployed but he needed to be alert to rush out and force Andy Sandell wide in a one-on-one.

It was Chippenham who went closest to snatching a winner three minutes from time. Ryan Campbell curled in a teasing cross from the right and fellow sub Ollie Taylor sent his far-post header wide with the goal gaping.

All in all, a point was probably a fair result.

TOWN: Kemp; Stringfellow, Francis, Simpson, Westwood; Angus (Fagan 59), Delfouneso, Moses-Garvey (Price 77), McGrath, Thompson-Brown; Ahenkorah. Subs not used: Moran, Sheldon, Tulloch.

CHIPPENHAM: Kauppinen; McCormack, Beeden, Tindle, Bevan; Smith, Allen, Ferguson (Campbell 56), Guthrie (Taylor 69); Holgate, Sandell. Subs not used: Jones, Harvey, Norman.

Referee: Lee Forrester.

Bookings - Town: McGarth, Moses-Garvey; Chippenham: Ferguson, McCormack.

Attendance: 189.

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