A night of unbelievable highs and lows, a rollercoaster of emotions, but yet again no points to show! After being 3-1 up with 2-minutes of normal time to play, Chippy amazingly managed to lose 4-3. For 88-minutes Chippy�s game plan had worked to perfection, full marks to coach Kev Barry for organising the lads so well in the 4-5-1 formation, with Andy Varnam outstanding as the lone striker. He received good support from Steve Knight and Cameron Busby out wide, and Remi Prierra pushing on through the middle to give Chippy plenty of attacking options throughout the game. But it all fell to pieces in two agonizing minutes and three set pieces. Ardley dominated the early exchanges, but Chippy eased into the game as they adapted to the new formation. Prierra shot just over the bar, and a Knight 25-yarder was well held by White in the home goal. United responded with Hill heading into Mark Harris' arms, and then Beckett scooping a chance over the bar from 8-yards. They took the lead just after the half hour, Phil Martin just getting ahead of Gary Morrison in a foot race to go clear on goal, Morrison made a despairing lunge for the ball, made contact, but was adjudged to have tackled from behind and a penalty was awarded, Mason thumped home the spot kick. Instead of retreating into their shell Town responded almost immediately, Varnam held the ball up superbly and picked out a great pass to the overlapping Prierra, whose cross to the far post was smashed home on the run by Busby into the top corner, a top class finish to a lovely piece of football.
Surprisingly Chippy came out the second half the better and Craig Holman, revelling in a holding midfield role, fired just over. It was not long before they took the lead though, Busby, again caused problems down the right and cut inside two men, rolled the ball square to Knight, 25-yards out, and he struck a sumptuous first time effort straight into the top corner, leaving White no chance. Ardley looked stunned, and although achieving a great deal of possession now, were not creating many chances, when they did threaten it was from set pieces, and from one of them Mark Harris made a stunning reflex save to deny Hill. It was Town who were to strike next though, and with just ten minutes to go it looked like they had sealed the victory when Gary Wilson harried Adam Richmond into a mistake, took two defenders out of the game with a lovely flick to Prierra, and the Gambian slotted Varnam clear with a slide rule pass, the ex-Slimbridge striker making no mistake with a calm finish.
Ardley through everything forward, and pushed the centre-half up front to add even more height to an already lofty strike force. This paid dividends on 88-minutes when a deep corner was headed in at the far post by an unmarked Jason Allen, poor defending from Chippy. This still looked no more than a consolation goal, but a minute later they were level, a free-kick was awarded on the edge of the Town box, deeply disputed by the Chippy defenders, Chris Hill curled a lovely effort into the bottom corner. Into injury-time and the table toppers showed why they are in that position, another free-kick was pumped long into the penalty area, and the loose ball dropped for Steve Garbutt to smash home via a wicked deflection and send the home fan into delirium, and send the large Chippy travelling support home wondering where it had all gone wrong
TEAM: Mark Harris 6, Gary Morrison 7, Anthony Akers 6, Steve Olczak 7, Nathan Meade 7, Cameron Busby 8, Craig Holman 7 (Gary Wilson 78/7), Nathan Haisley 6, Remi Prierra 7, Steve Knight 6, Andy Varnam 9* (Sean McKeon 89)