CHIPPENHAM Town boss Mark Collier says he was encouraged by his team’s performances over the festive period – despite them failing to pick up any points.

Saturday’s highly-anticipated National League South clash with Bath City ended in a 3-0 defeat at Hardenhuish Park, before the Bluebirds produced a much stronger display in their 2-1 defeat to Hungerford Town on Boxing Day.

While Collier says he was unhappy with their performance at home to Bath, he was enthused with their second outing in three days.

“I wasn’t happy with the performance against Bath, because it wasn’t good enough by a long way,” said Collier.

“It was certainly below par. Three or four players left with some credit, but as I say it wasn’t good enough.

“The Hungerford performance was much better and I think we deserved to get something from that game.

“It’s not going our way at the moment, but I am more than encouraged by the application of the players. They are the positives we take from a pointless weekend.’’ During their 2-1 defeat the Bluebirds were reduced to 10 men after Darren Mullings was given his second yellow card in the 51st minute.

With the score at 1-1 when Mullins – who had earlier notched the equaliser – was dismissed, Collier believes the red card had an impact on the game.

“The sending-off had a big influence on the result, but the performance was much improved,” he added.

“I said to the referee after the game that we seem to be in a situation where every foul is now a yellow card.

“That’s where we are with it. It was never a yellow card but two yellows make a red and the whole complexion of the game changes.

“We had to take off an attacking player to shore things up a little bit at 1-1, but we were quite impressive with 10 men.

“As far as I’m concerned it was a soft yellow card and if the referee gave it some thought, he would have given the foul and got on with it.

“It wasn’t a horrendous foul, it was just two lads going for the ball on the halfway line on a wet, slippery pitch.

“We just need to make sure we don’t feel sorry for ourselves and that we keep on pushing.”

Chippenham are back in action on New Year’s Day, when they welcome Hungerford to Hardenhuish Park, and Collier said: “It will be another similar game.

“They are always tight games with the odd goal, so I would expect it to be the same again on Monday.

“In the last game it was a close one, one of their goals was a set-piece which hit Greg Tindle flush in the face before going past the keeper, and the 11 against 10 men would have definitely helped them.

“I spoke to their manager, Jon Boardman, after the game and he is expecting another tight game when we play them again.’’