CHIPPENHAM Town avoided an embarrassing FA Cup qualifying defeat away at Cirencester Town on Saturday after a late equaliser from Luke Hopper earned a 2-2 draw.

The National League South side had gone 1-0 up thanks to a 30-yard screamer from Callum Gunner shortly before half-time but were pegged back during a disastrous five-minute period straight after the break where the side that play two divisions below struck twice to take the lead.

Fortunately for Mark Collier’s side, Hopper slammed home with 10 minutes to play to spare Chippenham’s blushes and send the tie to a replay at the Bluebirds’ Hardenhuish Park on Tuesday night.

Collier was left extremely disappointed at his side’s start to both halves on Saturday afternoon and revealed how the initial game plan was thrown out of the window once Chippenham found themselves behind at the start of the second period.

Collier said: “Everyone was talking about how exciting it was and what a great game it was to watch.

“We certainly didn’t start the game very well, we were very disappointed with our start, but we then got ourselves into the game and scored a fabulous individual goal from Callum Gunner.

“From then, you’d like to think we can go on and be nice and professional, however, we started the second half in abysmal fashion really and suddenly we find ourselves 2-1 down.

“As a result, we’re then chasing the game and rush our work and do lots of things that we don’t want to do.”

A hectic end to the game saw further chances for both sides, but with neither able to convert, the pair will meet once again for a place in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup in Wiltshire tomorrow night.

The Bluebirds manager said his side will have to greatly improve if they are to be successful this time around though and expects a more professional performance from the players he selects.

“We got ourselves back on the front foot late on, created numerous chances, although it looked like it wasn’t going to be our day with blocks, hitting the post and ricochets,” said Collier.

“Luckily, Luke Hopper came up with the late equaliser and we managed to see it out, but we’ll have to be much better in Tuesday’s replay if we want to get through.”