CHIPPENHAM Town manager Mark Collier reckons his side’s battling qualities have come to the fore to allow them to turn the corner after a sticky spell in National League South.

The Bluebirds had lost three matches in a row ahead of last weekend’s home clash against Tonbridge Angels, but they got back to form with a gutsy 2-1 win at Hardenhuish Park.

Collier’s side sit 13th in the table 10 games into the new campaign having collected 12 points but can move themselves closer to the top half with another win on Saturday as they travel to the side immediately below them in the table – Chelmsford City.

Collier was pleased with the resolve his side showed to topple Tonbridge – particularly after goalkeeper Will Puddy was sent off – and says more of the same is needed in Essex this weekend.

“The application and work-rate – certainly in the second half – we produced against Tonbridge was right up there. We dug in as we had 10 men,” said Collier.

“We showed some real collective spirit and that was particularly pleasing.

“It takes all sorts to win a football match and we produced some good stuff alongside some indifferent stuff but there was certainly a lot of effort, so credit to the lads.

“It has been a tough time for us recently and now we have got Chelmsford away next, then it’s the FA Cup the following weekend.

“It is a big game week in, week out.”

Although Chelmsford boast an identical record to Chippenham this term having collected 12 points from the opening 10 league games, they finished fourth in the table last term.

Therefore, Collier knows his players will have to be on their game when they take on the Clarets.

“Chelmsford are a very good side. Every season they seem to be in the play-offs,” said Collier.

“We haven’t got a great record there, it’s a big city club and it is a long trek with a very early start for us.

“All in all, it is a difficult place to go.

“But we have been competitive in every game we have played this season and it’s an opportunity for us to go up against one of the big hitters in the division, so we look forward to it.”

With no midweek match to contend with between their win over Tonbridge and trip to Chelmsford, Collier hopes that additional recovery time will help ease the strain on his squad that has arisen over the early weeks of the campaign.

“We have got a full week to prepare, so that is a bonus,” said Collier.

“Curtis McDonald missed out against Tonbridge with a bit of an injury, so we had three of our back four missing as Will Richards and Rhys Tyler are out as well.

“Hopefully Rhys and Curtis will be fit this weekend.”