CHIPPENHAM Town manager Mark Collier says he is down to the bare bones after he saw his 14 remaining fit players succumb to a 3-2 defeat at home to Eastbourne Borough in National League South.

The Bluebirds failed to make their possession count in the first half as two individual errors led to a brace of tap-ins for Borough’s Joe Quigley.

James Guthrie halved the deficit on the hour mark with a candidate for goal of the season – a drive from 25 yards found the top corner to give Chippenham a chance at the points.

However, Eastbourne grabbed their third following a misplaced pass from Kieran Parselle and despite a late Nick McCootie goal in added time, Town were left with nothing.

Collier was disappointed by the individual errors that cost his team, but bemoaned the lack of options available to him from the bench.

He said: “We’re down to the bare bones. We had three subs – I know it said five on the list, but we’ve only got three available and they all had to come on.

“We’re down to 14 fit players, which is clearly an issue for us. I don’t normally talk about our limited squad, but it is having an effect on us, most certainly.

“We made an individual error for both of the first two goals and we’re disappointed because one sometimes brings two and we don’t want that to happen.

“We wanted to sit in and not concede again because we know we’re always going to create chances.

“We got back into the game and we just needed to keep our foot on the pedal to get something from the game.”

Chippenham have now won only one of their last nine games and have found arresting their slide down the league table none too easy.

However, Collier said his side are not in crisis mode just yet and has backed his squad to come good once they are all fit and available to him.

He said: “We’re on a bumpy road at the moment. That can happen in this division, so it’s important everyone sticks together.

“I’m not saying we’re in a difficult place, but we’re certainly on a bumpy road where a little bit of confidence has gone from a few people.

“We need to get our injured players back and be able to choose from a full squad but the effort in the last half an hour was exceptional on Saturday.

“We were the only team who ever looked like scoring and we looked that way every time we went forward, so we’re disappointed we didn’t get something from the game because I think overall, we deserved something.”