CHIPPENHAM Town manager Mark Collier was dismayed to be handed an example of his side’s inconsistency as they slipped to a dismal defeat at Bashley last night.
The Bluebirds became the first side to slip to a loss at Bashley Road in the league this season, with the hosts moving off the foot of the table and notching up only their third win of the campaign so far.
“It was poor. We weren’t at the races in the first-half and myself and Tom (Jones) were scratching our heads as to the reasons why,” said Collier.
“No disrespect to Bashley but they were down at the bottom of the table for a reason and we should be able to go to places like that and win.
“We got a fortuitous equaliser after they went ahead but then conceded a sloppy goal right before half-time. Then they got a penalty late on and killed off the game.
“There were three or four good individual performances but too many out there played well below what we expect of them.”
Collier also dismissed any suggestions of a bad-tempered encounter after a number of his players were cautioned, with Corey King, James Guthrie, Luke Hopper, Callum Wright and Joe McClennan all going in to the book.
Assistant Jones was also asked to leave the Bluebirds dugout after clashing with the opposition management team but the Chippenham chief says that there was nothing in the incident.
He said: “Tom went to get the ball back into play quickly and went into their technical area. The referee asked him to step away from out dugout to calm the situation down but he wasn’t sent off and we were told it wouldn’t be in the report.
“It wasn’t a nasty game at all but the referee was very nit-picky for both sides. It was difficult to get back into the game when he was constantly stopping it to caution people.
“I didn’t mind the yellow cards that were for tackles but we will be having a chat with the players about the ones that were for dissent because I can’t accept that.”
Striker Jack Odam put Bashley ahead with just ten minutes on the clock before Chippenham looked to have found a way back into the game when top-scorer Alan Griffin nodded in from Wright’s cross.
But the Bluebirds were dealt a suckerpunch as home defender Brad Strickland fired home from a cleared corner-kick in first half stoppage time to restore the hosts' lead.
Half-time substitute Lee Phillips had the ball in the net 12 minutes into the second period but saw his effort ruled out for offside before Bashley drove the final nail into the Chippenham coffin in the 70th minute as Odam fired home his second of the game from the penalty spot after Aaron Oakley tripped Manny Soetan in the box.
Collier's men kick off a tough double-assignment next weekend, with the Bluebirds turning their attentions to the other end of the table on Saturday as they visit title-favourites Hemel Hempstead Town.
Then, two days later, Chippenham make the trip to promotion-chasers St Albans City.
CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Ben John, Callum Wright, Pete Monks, Bryan Smith (Harley Purnell 77), Greg Tindle, Aaron Oakley, Corey King (Joe McClennan 34), Rob Dean, Alan Griffin (c), Luke Hopper (Lee Phillips 45).
Subs not used: Tyron Leigh, Kent Kauppinen.
MORE CHIPPENHAM TOWN NEWS AND REACTION IN THIS THURSDAY'S GAZETTE AND HERALD. FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport