CHIPPENHAM boss Nathan Rudge has been hit with an FA charge over alleged racist remarks made to an opposition player.

The Bluebirds player-manager has been accused in relation to an incident during his side’s 2-1 FA Cup second qualifying round victory over Bishops Cleeve in September.

Rudge has been charged with breaching FA Rule E3, which covers use of abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards an opponent and a statement on the FA’s website reads: “Further alleged that breach included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race.”

The charge comes as a further blow to the Hardenhuish Park side, who have been found guilty of misconduct by the FA for the ugly scenes that marred the December's 2-2 draw with St Neots.

On January 28, the Bluebirds denied breaching rule FA rule E20(a) - failure to ensure that its players and/or officials and/or supporters conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and/or refrained from violent and/or provocative behaviour - but were found guilty after a personal hearing at Wembley. Chippenham have the right to further appeal against the decision.

The relegation-threatened Bluebirds travel to Hitchin tomorrow off the back of the news that captain Scott Lye will take a temporary step back from playing duties due to personal issues.

“Saturday’s a massive game for us - we can’t afford to go there and get beat,” said Rudge.

“They’ve got two strikers who score goals in (John) Frendo and (Lewis) Toomey but I’m more concerned about what we can do to be honest.

“If we play to our best, I know that we could go there and take all three points.”

Chippenham may have brought in midfielder Darren Mullings from Gloucester City but the club have been unable to extend the loans of Exeter youngsters Jacob Wannell and Jordan Tillson.

In Division One South & West, Cirencester are away to Winchester tomorrow.