Swindon AdvertiserSOUTHERN LEAGUE: Chippenham secure Premier Division status (From Swindon Advertiser)

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SOUTHERN LEAGUE: Chippenham secure Premier Division status

Swindon Advertiser: Chippenham Town manager Mark Collier Chippenham Town manager Mark Collier

CHIPPENHAM Town chief Mark Collier was delighted as the Bluebirds ensured their stay in the Southern League Premier Division with a win over Banbury United.

The 2-0 victory at Hardenhuish Park kills off Chippenham’s threat of relegation, with AFC Totton condemned to the drop alongside Bedford Town and Bashley.

Despite the putting the visitors under a lot of early pressure the first goal didn’t come until late in the opening 45 minutes, when Banbury handed Alan Griffin the chance to score from an indirect free-kick inside the penalty area following a backpass.

Collier thought that the Bluebirds deserved their piece of good luck.

“We came in off the back of a good performance (a 3-1 win at Truro City last weekend) and it was important that we backed that up,” said the Chippenham manager.

“Our first half was excellent - we passed it well, got the ball into wide areas and got crosses into the box but unfortunately, we didn’t score as many clear-cut opportunities as we wanted to.

“I said to Tom (Jones) when the goal happened that it was a good bit of fortune for us but our first half performance deserved it.

“We’d created enough chances to be two or three goals up but we didn’t panic and we kept on plugging away.”

James Guthrie doubled Chippenham’s lead early in the second half as he raced clear and to lob the ball high over the onrushing Puritans keeper and into the empty net The Bluebirds make their rearranged trip to Hungerford Town on Thursday evening and also host the Berkshire play-off chasers on Easter Monday, with that game sandwiched by trips to Hitchin Town and St Neots Town.

Despite his team ensuring that they are staying in the top tier of the Southern League, Collier wants to see his men continue to give their all for the final two weeks of the season.

He said: “We’ve got good supporters at this club and we'll go out and make sure we try and win our next football match, knowing that we’re safe and secure on the back of two victories.”

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