THE search for a new striker is still ongoing, according to Chippenham Town chief Mark Collier.

The Bluebirds boss has been forced to dip into the transfer market following the surprise departure of Dave Pratt, who signed for Wealdstone earlier this month.

While that was a blow for Collier, the Hardenhuish Park manager says he has been exploring the option of bringing back both Jake Andrews and Scott Twine from Bristol City and Swindon Town respectively once the January window rolls around.

“We have made some enquiries over the last few days, on the professional club front (but) it is difficult because they want to keep their players,” he added.

“Jake Andrews’ and Scott Twine’s situation is of that ilk really, we have to wait and see in January on those two.

“We have things in the pipeline for other players, but there is no news yet.”

With one win in their last four outings, Chippenham currently sit 16th in the league standings with 26 points from 23 games.

Following their promotion to Vanarama National League South last term, Bluebirds boss Collier admits the new level of football has taken some time for him and his team to adjust to.

However, he says there is plenty for his troops to be positive about as they look to make a winning start to 2018 in their New Year’s Day home clash with Hungerford Town, to whom they lost 2-1 on Boxing Day.

“It tougher than what I was expecting,” he added. “I thought there would be some good sides but the infrastructure and the budgets are mind-boggling.”

“We are coming up against very good teams who have very good players, week in, week out.

“Teams have very little weaknesses and are capable of changing formations left, right and centre to deal with teams.

“This is really the top table of non-league football because the National League is practically full-time.

“We know we have a lot of work to do between now and the end of the season. We certainly aren’t in a dim place but we aren’t in a great place either.

“Every point and every goal are going to be vital. All we can do is look after ourselves and keep the togetherness that was so vital for us last year.

“We are going to go on a run where we win matches, and we are going to go on a run where we don’t, but we know we can compete.”