CHIPPENHAM Town boss Mark Collier was delighted to see his players back up their FA Cup victory over Slough Town with another win on the road courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Concord Rangers in the National League South on Saturday.

Luke Hopper’s second-half penalty proved to be the difference – once George Rigg had been fouled in the box – as Chippenham moved up from 15th to re-claim a spot in the division’s top half following a gritty defensive performance in Essex.

After watching on as a favourable offside flag kept his team in the game on the hour mark, Collier hailed the excellent mental spirit of his players to dig deep after a ‘strenuous week’ and move on to four games unbeaten in the league.

He said: “To go anywhere in this league and keep a clean sheet and take three points away from home is always pleasing.

“Certainly on the back of quite a strenuous week with the physicality of the game against Slough and mentally as well.

“The endeavour and the spirit in the camp is great at the moment – when you’re not playing your best, you need to have a good mentality about you, and our mentality, our work rate and our intensity was exactly where we wanted it to be at this moment in time.

“To come away with a clean sheet, putting our bodies on the line and our ‘keeper has made some decent saves, it’s nothing but positive and it sets us up nicely for next week.”

Attention can now turn to the FA Cup fourth qualifying round, where Collier’s Bluebirds take on Surrey-based outfit, Whyteleaf for a spot in the FA Cup first round proper.

Collier said there was never any talk of their cup exploits before the end of Saturday’s game though, and the Chippenham manager felt that went a long way towards showing how mentally tough his group of players are.

Collier said: “That was a little concern we had (the players thinking about next week), but credit to the lads – we’ve got a good group and they all stuck together.

“We scrapped away, and we’ve earned a decent away victory.

“We trust the players to stay mentally right – we never talked about next week.

“We talked about keeping this little run going and making sure we enter next week in a good frame of mind, but we knew we could only do that if we got three points on Saturday.

“We managed to do that, so credit goes to everybody involved.”