Dunstable slip to Bluebirds defeat

Tony Fontanelle in action

Tony Fontanelle in action

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Dunstable Town succumbed to a fourth league defeat in six matches as they lost against Chippenham Town in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division on Saturday.

The visitors struggled to overcome the blustery elements and were punished in the second-half, allowing Ashan Holgate to bundle home from a wind-stricken cross.

In an affair that saw few clear-cut chances, both defences enjoyed the best of the play, consistently breaking up attacks already hindered by the blustery conditions.

The Blues’ failure to recapture the form that saw them cruise to a 5-1 win in September’s reverse fixture leaves them 11th in the table, just two points clear of Chippenham in 12th.

Despite their solid discipline, Dunstable found their attacking intent stifled throughout, with regularly misplaced and overhit passes marking a lacklustre performance.

The opening half-hour was littered with mistakes, with only James Guthrie threatening as he directed a tame header at goal, which Dunstable keeper Luke Chambers claimed with ease.

While the away side struggled to create many meaningful attacks, Luke Ruddick - back from a recent injury lay-off - and Shane Blackett in the heart of defence repelled Chippenham’s sporadic bursts forwards, spearheaded by the lively Guthrie and Luke Ballinger.

In an attempt to enliven the side, manager’s Darren Croft and Paul Reeves sent on Dave Moli for Charlie Henry - a decision Henry visibly lamented in booting a stray bottle.

In spite of Dunstable’s attempts to shift the momentum, Chippenham look the lead in the 65th minute.

Holgate capitalised on Dunstable’s inability to clear a swirling crossing, pouncing on the loose ball and scrambling it in from close range.

Dunstable’s efforts to claw back the game were in vain, though Jemale McKenzie-Lowe and Elliot Bailey wasted half-chances late on which they may have expected better from.

Dunstable Town host Hungerford Town this weekend.

Dunstable: Chambers, Fontanelle, Jones, Ruddick, Blackett, Gregory, Watkins, Henry (Moli), McKenzie-Lowe, Bailey, Marsh.

Subs not used: Lynn, Gardner, Abbey.