Canaries stop the rot

After a dismal few weeks for the Canaries, the 1-1 draw at Chippenham Town was seen as something of a minor triumph for Darran Hay s continually changing side. Hitchin deserved at least a point, but on the balance of play, both sides could claim they did

After a dismal few weeks for the Canaries, the 1-1 draw at Chippenham Town was seen as something of a minor triumph for Darran Hay's continually changing side.

Hitchin deserved at least a point, but on the balance of play, both sides could claim they did enough to win.

It was the Canaries however that had the best opportunities to clinch victory. They finished the game well and also started in impressive form and, for around half an hour, looked to have stumbled on a good front-line partnership in Russell Bull and Paul Barnes.

Barnes had two good early chances to give Hitchin the lead. The first, a flying volley after the ball sailed into the area and then a shot that was well saved by Chippenham goalkeeper Chris Snoddy.

But it didn't take long for Hitchin to go ahead. Barnes ran to the byline, sent over a low cross that was touched by Snoddy and Bull shot home from six yards.

Chippenham equalised six minutes later from the penalty spot. Sean Seavill was pushed in the back by Derwayne Stupple as a cross came in, and referee Mr Russell wasted no time in pointing to the spot. David Pratt netted with the penalty.

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Chippenham ended the first half on top and Sam Allison went close with a header and Pratt also had a header that was just wide of the target.

Chippenham continued in the same vein at the start of the second period, but Martin Bennett, Dean Gilbert and the impressive Darrell Ellams held firm.

Hitchin found fresh impetus in the last quarter of an hour, however, and when Paul Barnes was set clear, it looked like he would put the Canaries ahead once more. But his chipped effort was saved by the outstretched arms of Snoddy.

Shortly afterwards, new signing Scott Balderson had a chance to clinch victory when he met a cross by Stupple and controlled the ball well before seeing his shot blocked by Snoddy.

In added time, substitute Des Boateng saw his shot land on the roof of the net just as the final whistle sounded.

Chippenham: Snoddy, Adams, Halliday, Gardner (Holly h/t), Kite, Williams, Allison, Lye, White (Slack 63), Seavill (Bryan 82), Pratt

Scorer: Pratt (pen) 33

Hitchin: Bennett, E'Beyer, Ellams, Balderson, Gilbert, Rose (Peters h/t), Lewis (Doyle 60), Stupple, P.Barnes, Bull (Boateng 65), Charge

Scorer: Bull 27

Attendance: 413

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