HARLEY Purnell reckons there were heaps of positives from the Bluebirds’ performance at table-toppers Hemel Hempstead Town on Tuesday night, despite them being unable to halt the Tudors’ relentless march to the title.
Hosts Hemel saw Jordan Parkes and Lewis Toomey strike the woodwork in the first half, with Ben Mackey also smacking the inside of the post from the penalty spot after Parkes was felled in the area.
The title-favourites were again denied by the woodwork after the break, with Luke Allen’s strike hitting the upright, but the Bluebirds’ resistance was finally broken when striker Mackey volleyed home from David King's delivery.
Hemel's second penalty of the evening wrapped up the result when, after Toomey was bundled over, Mackey made up for his earlier miss by firing home down the middle of the goal.
“I think that was actually the best we’ve played in the last few games and like the manager said to us, there were a lot of positives to take out of it,” said Purnell.
“It’s not the sort of place you expect to go and get anything because, in my opinion, they’re going to win the league. But we had a few chances and if they’d gone in, it could have been different.
“I think we might need three more wins to make sure that we’re safe and I think when we are safe, we’ll improve and everyone can smile again.
“This weekend’s game at Truro is definitely a must-win. We beat them 3-0 earlier in the season and you don’t want to be coming all the way back from there having not gotten something.”
Chippenham remain 20th in the league table, eight points ahead of AFC Totton with a game in hand.
Manager Mark Collier said: “We do need to pick up some points to make sure we stay in the division, which was our aim when we walked through the door (last November), but I’d rather be in our position than Totton’s.”
Collier expects midfielder Iain Harvey and defender Callum Wright, who suffered an ankle injury last weekend, to miss the remainder of the season.
Supporters’ medical help
CHIPPENHAM have thanked long-serving fans Terry and Margaret White for donating a medical gas canister to the club, in the wake of Rob Dean’s dislocated knee last month.
Dean had to wait for the emergency services to arrive before he could receive pain relief after suffering his horrific injury at Hungerford Town on March 18.
But after the Whites’ donation, Bluebirds physiotherapist Scott Garraway will be able to immediately provide gas and air in the event of another serious injury.
“They’re long-time supporters of the club. They became aware that when Rob Dean got badly injured, he wasn’t able to receive any gas and air until the paramedics arrived,” said Town’s football and community development co-ordinator Barry Stephens.
“They looked into it with Scott Garraway and found out that he has got a qualification that allows him to use the equipment, so they have purchased it, along with the support and extra accessories that are needed, and donated it all to the club.
“As a result of that, the club have said thanks to them for their continued support.”
FOR MORE SPORTS NEWS, REPORTS & PICTURES SEE THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport