CHIPPENHAM Town ended their National League South campaign with a 1-0 defeat to play-off settlers Chelmsford City at Hardenhuish Park on Saturday.

Rhys Murphy scored the only goal of the game in the early stages of the first half that featured very few clear-cut chances.

The second half featured a touch more action with a few disagreements quickly sorted out by the referee, while Nick McCootie saw a shot flick off the outside of the post while Nat Jarvis had an effort cleared off the line.

But ultimately Chippenham came up short in their quest to secure what manager Mark Collier would have been a deserved point.

Reflecting on what was very much an end of season game, Collier said: “They’re comfortably in the play-offs and they wanted to win to secure their standing in the table and give themselves a home game.

“They’ve scored quite a fortuitous goal after about ten or fifteen minutes and then it was always going to be a difficult game for us.

“The wind was howling down the pitch, the playing surface, as we know, is difficult.

“It always looked like one goal would win the game and that’s how it turned out to be.

“We huffed and puffed in the second half, but credit to them, they saw the game out properly.

“I think a draw would have been a fair result, but we haven’t had much luck on the day.”

The Bluebirds ended the 2018-19 campaign in the same position as last season – 13th – but with a single point more this time around.

After spending the season explaining that the next attainable goal for the club was to become an established side in the division, two mid-table finishes and an evasion of the deadly ‘second-season syndrome’ has convinced Collier that Chippenham have reached their goal and can now kick on towards a top-half finish next season.

He said: “We’re disappointed we haven’t ended the season with a victory, but there’s plenty for us to think about over the summer, so we’ll re-group and go again in August.

“We finished 13th and I think it’s with one more point than we had this time last year, in what I think is a more difficult league.

“I think we’ve established ourselves nicely, we haven’t had a problem with second-season syndrome and hopefully we can progress again next season.”