Bluebirds off to a real flyer at Biggleswade
MARK Collier reflected on a job well done as his new-look Chippenham Town enjoyed a near-perfect opening day of the campaign at Biggleswade Town.
Goals in each half from frontmen Lee Phillips and Omar Simpson secured a 2-0 success for the Bluebirds in Bedfordshire as no fewer than six players made their debut for the visitors.
Collier admitted: “It is a good start and a very pleasing start considering we had six new faces making their competitive debuts for the club.
“It’s one of our longer away trips and it’s good to get it out of the way and get points on the board early.’’ The visitors’ opening goal came on 16 minutes when a five man move ended with McCormack crossing for Phillips to produce a classy downward header that left keeper Ian Brown rooted to the spot.
Collier added: “We scored a very good goal through Lee Phillips and it was one off the training ground, with good passing and movement, just the way we wanted.
“They pushed us back a bit after that but I didn’t think Kent Kauppinen (Chippenham’s goalkeeper) had a serious shot to save.’’ Simpson’s second-half strike wrapped it up, the British 400m runner showing his athletic pedigree as he sprinted clear from the halfway line before rolling the ball past Brown to score his first goal in a Bluebird shirt.
Collier said of the former Yeovil Town man: “That will do his confidence a lot of good because he hasn’t played a lot of football in the last couple of years.
The victory was achieved at some cost as Phillips received a head injury that saw him play the second half swathed in a bandage.
Meanwhile, the impressive Conor McCormack left the field with a shoulder injury after finding himself at the bottom of a pile of players and misses tonight’s second game of the campaign at Redditch United.
Collier said: “That is a bit of a blow because he has been one of our outstanding players (during pre-season).
“We’ll have to assess it (the injury) over the next couple of days but he’ll definitely miss Redditch.
Winger James Guthrie is still suspended for tonight’s encounter, while strike Alan Griffin probably has another week to wait before he returns from a thigh injury sustained in the final pre-season match against Mangotsfield United last week.
However, midfielder Zac Evans is expected to feature after reciving his international clearance.
Cirencester Town were unable to get their top-flight campaign off to a successful start as they went down 2-1 at Paulton Rovers.
The sides who had finished champions and play-off winners of Division One South & West last season renewed acquaintances in Somerset and it was the home side that grabbed the lead shortly after the midway point of the first half as Brandon Barnes fired home after being put away.
Ciren were quickly back on level terms as Mark Pritchett headed home from a corner.
The winner arrived shortly after half time as Nick McCootie’s run and shot found its way in.
Cirencester host Bideford tomorrow night.