“Nightmare” performance leads to Saints loss

Saints celebrate Greg Ngoyi's goal against Chippenham. Photo by Bob Walkley

Saints celebrate Greg Ngoyi's goal against Chippenham. Photo by Bob Walkley - Credit: Archant

A “SHAMBOLIC” performance from City’s defence saw struggling Chippenham Town win 4-3 on Saturday.

Saints went into the break 3-2 up but a calamitous second half allowed the home team to equalise before pushing on to claim all three points, securing the EvoStik Southern League Premier Division status for next year.

After the loss Saints’ first team coach, Harry Wheeler, said it was the worst game he has been involved with in senior football.

“It was a nightmare,” he said.

“If you defend like you will never win games. It was shambolic. There is a lot of work to do and it shows we’re not near the play-offs at the moment.

“There are no excuses for some of the performances and it was our own mistakes that caused the result – it was avoidable.”

The game started badly for Saints, who made four changes from the side that drew with Bashley. Chippenham’s Lee Phillips hit an unstoppable fifth-minute volley to take the lead.

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City fought back and looked to have carved out an opening when Brad Wadkins was fouled in the box. The referee saw it differently, however, and booked the striker for diving.

Saints did draw level on the 30-minute mark. Greg Ngoyi’s shot was blocked into the path of Elliot Godfrey who tapped home.

But as they pushed for a second the Bluebirds regained the advantage, Toby Osman controlling a Greg Tindle free-kick and firing past Nick Hardy.

City’s response was instantaneous as Wadkins rose highest to head home James Comley’s free-kick after Ngoyi was cynically brought down by Jack Allwood. But, the referee ruled out the goal for a foul by Wadkins.

Undeterred, City did score their second goal on 42 minutes. Joe Bruce prodded home a corner to register his first goal in City colours.

Three minutes later Saints were celebrating again as Ngoyi netted from the spot after Curtis Shaw’s shot struck Gareth Hubbard’s arm.

Saints looked to be in a commanding position at the break but Chippenham’s renewed vigour in the second half and defensive mistakes from the visitors saw the tide turn.

James Guthrie levelled the game in the 55th minute and 20 minutes later Tom Knighton scored what turned out to be the winner.

The loss leaves Saints in 10th place, eight points off the play-offs with three games remaining. City are back in action tomorrow night when they travel to Bedford Town, kick-off 7.45pm.