CHIPPENHAM Town chief Mark Collier thought his side were unfortunate to be stung by a Hungerford Town comeback on Easter Monday.
The Bluebirds looked to have put a huge dent in their Berkshire rivals’ play-off ambitions after leading 2-0 at Hardenhuish Park but a second-half onslaught eventually saw the visitors flip the clash on its head.
Collier was still keen to focus on the positives from his team’s display, particularly after a below-par performance at Hitchin Town two days earlier.
“We went to Hitchin in good heart, the pitch was good, the weather was good and everything was ready for us to go and play our game,” said the Hardenhuish Park boss.
“We asked the players after the game for their excuses and one of them actually said ‘there are no excuses’, which just about summed it up.
“We were disappointed about that and bringing one of the play-off contenders to our ground a few days later, we expected a response and a reaction, and we did get that.
“But unfortunately, they were disappointed because they gave their all and it wasn’t good enough to win.
“There are a lot of positives to take out of the game for us and for next season but sometimes we have to make sure that we’re mentally stronger when things are going against us.”
Jake Harris couldn’t apply the finishing touch to Joe McClennan’s pass whilst Corey King shot straight at Hungerford keeper Paul Strudley early on while at the other end, Luke Brewer’s strike was clawed away by Kent Kauppinen before Stefan Brown headed wide.
But a scorching counter-attack saw King race down the pitch before setting up striker Harris to poke home his first Chippenham goal.
On the stroke of half-time, the Bluebirds grabbed a second goal as McClennan found King, who again laid the ball on a plate for Harris to find the net again.
But ten minutes into the second period, Hungerford’s Brown nodded into the corner from a Dean Stow delivery to reduce the deficit.
The visitors piled on the pressure and resurrected their promotion push with two goals in two minutes.
James Clark smacked a volley from the edge of the area, which keeper Kauppinen couldn’t stop trickling over the line, before Stow side-footed a shot onto the far post.
The ball bounced back to the Crusaders man and he clipped a cross to the far post, allowing Brown to turn and scoop an effort into the bottom corner to complete the comeback.
CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Kent Kauppinen, Harley Purnell, Pete Monks, Iain Harvey, Jon Beeden, Greg Tindle (c), Joe McClennan (Jake Simpson 86), Shane Blackmore, Corey King (Tyron Leigh 59), Jake Harris, James Guthrie.
Sub not used: Ben John.
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