Chipping made the journey to Southport at the weekend to face Southport Trinity hoping to get their league campaign back on track after a poor run of form of late.
On a surprisingly dry surface Chipping kicked off and found themselves under the cosh straight away. Southport came flying out of the blocks and caused Chipping problems. However, the home side should have been down to 10 men with only five minutes played after their striker’s violent retaliation to a fair challenge by Coupe. The referee instead awarded a yellow card and allowed the offender to stay on the pitch leaving many in attendance speechless!
Soon after this incident the home side broke the deadlock, advancing down the right before crossing low and smashing the ball into the net.
This goal seemed to wake Chipping up a little and they began to settle into the game. Cookson and Hobro both got forward down their respective wings and fed through to the forward men. It was Hobro who nearly brought the Greens even when the ball came out to him from a Chipping corner. He controlled before striking with the outside of his boot an effort which looked destined for the top corner, denied only by a save right out of the top drawer by the Southport keeper.
Shortly after nearly being the scorer Hobro turned provider whipping the ball into the box where Walmsley rose high in the air to beat his man and head the ball home for the equaliser. Chipping were given another chance right before the half time whistle with a freekick 25 yards out. Several Chipping players stood over the ball before Hollis finally took aim and launched the ball hard through the wall, forcing the goalkeeper into another fine save to deny him.
The second half started a much more even contest that the first had, both sides working hard with and without possession of the ball. There was a prolonged period of time where both teams kept the ball well but neither threatened the goal before, from nowhere Southport retook the lead. An effort from outside the box was deflected taking it out of the reach of the Chipping shot stopper and putting them behind again.
Kucper and Green were introduced taking the place of Pearson and Hobro as Eccles altered the formation in search of another equaliser.
Holt and Bradhsaw continued to work tirelessly in the Chipping midfield fighting for every ball and tracking back when under attack. An injury to Bibby meant a forced change for Chipping and on came Ross in his place.
With ten minutes remaining Chipping squeezed high up the pitch trying to rescue something from the game. Walmsley came close with a freekick which was mere inches wide, and Hollis and Bradshaw both got forward well to supply the ball into box. It was not to be and the final whistle blew. Chipping suffered only their third defeat of the season and one which potentially now shuts them out of the title race. Things are very tight at the top of Division 2 and Chipping will now have to rely on the results of others to compete.
Chipping are in Cup quarter final action this Saturday at home v FC Ribbleton 2pm KO.