Wiltshire Publications

Sat. 3rd February. Toolstation Division One Chippenham Park 1 Westbury United 2

Westbury’s third game of 2018 saw them travel to local rivals, Chippenham Park. Saturday morning saw the usual rain showers which have ruined the fixture list since the turn of the year, but there was no threat of this game being off.

Westbury’s slow start was punished after only two minutes when Chippenham Park’s Lewis McCarron finished from inside the Westbury area. Park had their tails up and created a few more chances in the first twenty minutes, but Lewis Porter pulled off two good saves to make sure they didn’t double their goal tally.

Westbury started to grow into the game after the twenty minute mark which saw Park resort to very early time wasting tactics. It took until the 37th minute for Westbury to have their first shot. Mark Robinson had switched from the right to the left wing, he received the ball wide left, cut inside and curled a shot that went just over the angle of the goal. It was so close that it had his number one fan, Jack Robinson, already off his seat in anticipation to celebrate.

Two minutes later, Robinson received the ball again in a similar position. This time he opted to deliver a cross which was blocked by the arm of the Park defender inside the area and the referee awarded a penalty. Dan Kovacs stepped up and slotted the ball to the goalkeeper’s right to make it 1-1.

Westbury nearly got a second before half-time. A Jamie Jordan corner was delivered into the danger area and resulted in shots from Matt Jones, Ricky Hulbert and Dan Price, which were all blocked by the Park defence and eventually cleared to safety. The teams went in level at half time.

Westbury made an early change and swapped Dan Jordan for Jordan Pinder at half-time. Whatever the message was from the Kirkpatricks, it had obviously worked, because Westbury were a lot sharper and started to get on top.

Park were reduced to ten men in the second half when Jamie Cunning was dismissed for violent conduct, but it still took until the 82nd minute for Westbury to make their extra man count. A cross from Jordan Pinder was flicked on by Ricky Hulbert to his strike partner, Dan Kovacs, who volleyed the ball into the net to make it 2-1 to Westbury.

Late in the game Park were reduced to 9 after their captain Jordan Coulter was given his marching orders for a heavy tackle on Dan Kovacs in the middle of the pitch. Kovacs was subbed and Ryan Baggs was brought on to continue his return to fitness after a back operation in the summer.

Not the best performance from Westbury but the three points and returning to the top of the table, after Keynsham drew with Corsham Town, is what they would have been aiming for before kick off, so they will be a happy squad until at least Wednesday evening when Keynsham travel to Oldland Abbotonians.

Team: Lewis Porter, Dan Jordan, Leon Greenland, Steve Hulbert, Dan Price ©, Matt Jones, Jamie Jordan, Jake Hiscocks, Ricky Hulbert, Dan Kovacs, Mark Robinson. Subs: Jordan Pinder, Joe Kirkpatrick, Ryan Baggs (used) Matt Mantay (unused). Star Man: Dan Kovacs

Greg Coulson