Toolstation Western League
First Division
Chard Town 3, Chippenham Park 3

CHARD Town struggled to get the better of their Wiltshire visitors, who are languishing near the foot of the table, in a tense tussle at Zembard Lane on Saturday.

Alex Cunnold deputised in goal and manager Jamie Manley also gave a start to Alex Harper on the left.

Both sides looked dangerous early on, with Ryan Parris and Harper going close, while Cunnold who did well to thwart Alex Warre and striker Tom McCulloch with some brave footwork and a timely punch clear.

Then, on 25 minutes, Chippenham took the lead when, from a corner, Warre was allowed to head into the net unchallenged.

However, it only took eight minutes for Chard to equalise, as Andrew Holmes saw his shot from the edge of the box creep in off the post, possibly with a slight deflection.

Chippenham had the best chance straight after the restart, with Ashton Shanley shooting just wide.

On 51 minutes the visitors scored a fine goal when Lewis Ellington was set free on the left and turned inside past the defence to unleash an excellent shot past Cunnold.

It got worse just two minutes later, Joel Smedley finding time to slot the ball into the net, leaving Chard two down.

But to the relief of the home fans, the Robins reduced the arrears on 56 minutes.

Substitute Marky Jones, on for the injured Harper, got up to head a long throw from Holmes past the Chippenham keeper.

It was a fine goal for the Under-18s player and he went on to show a high degree of pace and awareness to justify his introduction.

The Robins got better and were very unlucky when the ball was cleared off the line more than once in a period of frenzied attacking by the hosts.

Chippenham were still a threat, though, and Cunnold had to save with his feet again when McCulloch might easily have scored.

However, on 72 minutes the hosts salvaged a point when the dependable Kieran Bailey got forward to head Max Westlake’s corner emphatically into the net.

Immediately back at the other end Bailey executed a fine last-ditch tackle to keep the scores level.

Then, in the dying minutes, Ellington shot wide and Cunnold came out thwart McCulloch again.

No doubt there is some disappointment at not being able to take three points from the game, but on the plus side it’s now five games unbeaten for the Robins.

Chard: Alex Cunnold, Elliot Dyer, Tom Salter, Andrew Holmes (Ryan Mason 75), Kieran Bailey, Ben Haines, Max Westlake, Sam Smith, Ryan Parris, Liam Cleal, Alex Harper (Marky Jones 29). Sub not used: Dan Collins.

Chard go to Welton Rovers this Saturday (ko 3pm).