CHIPPENHAM Town boss Mark Collier was not left despondent despite his depleted side falling to a 3-0 loss away at Dartford on Saturday.

The Bluebirds held their own in the first half but fell behind to an Alfie Pavey goal in the 26th minute.

It took until the 69th minute for Dartford to double their advantage through Andy Pugh and with Chippenham looking for a route back into the game, Ryan Hayes, who had set up the previous two goals, put the game to bed in the 76th minute.

“We started the game quite well and I was pleased with the way we played,” said Collier.

“We certainly played a lot more football than we have over the last couple of games, so possession wise, we were quite comfortable.

“We have conceded a poor goal and they have gone 1-0 up. I said to the lads at half-time, ‘continue having a bit of belief, keep passing the ball and we can certainly get something from the game’.

“However, they have pressed us and scored a second goal.

“We’ve then made some subs and had a little gamble, going three at the back and of course they have got the third goal that killed the game.

“I’ll take a lot of positives out of the game. We’ve gone to one of the top sides in the division, who certainly have some top players and a top budget, and I think the scoreline flattered them a little bit.

Andy Sandell (ankle), Jake Andrews (ankle ligament) and Will Richards, who is doing his finals exams, all missed the trip to Kent, while Gary Horgan left the pitch with a hamstring injury that will also rule him out of the trip to Truro on Tuesday night. Dean Evans will also be absent for that trip due to work commitments.

That has left Collier scrambling for players for the long road trip, spending the journey back from Dartford frantically trying to recruit ahead of Tuesday.

“We are literally down to the bare bones, 12 fit players,” he said.

“I (was) trying to do some work on the coach as we travel(led) home to get some people to pad us out and sit on the bench and hopefully come on and do a little job for us.

“We certainly need to pad out the squad for Tuesday night.”

One player who will feature against fourth-placed Truro will be striker Scott Twine, who was signed on loan from Swindon Town last week and impressed on debut.

“We’ve decided to sit Andy Sandell out for a couple of weeks and Scott Twine became available and we thought it was a good option to take him,” added Collier.

“He has done himself no harm at all with a very lively performance, especially in the first 60 minutes when he was a constant threat.

“He has got good movement and stood up to the challenge particularly well.”