MATCH PREVIEW: Bath City vs Chippenham Town | National League South | Monday 1st January 2024

Published: at 7:51pm

It’s PART 2 of the A4 Derby on New Year’s Day next time around as Chippenham look to exact a little revenge on their local rivals following a Boxing Day defeat at Hardenhuish Park.

Last Time Out

In front of a packed out Thornbury Surfacing Stadium, the Bluebirds took on the Romans with confidence high after beating Maidstone a few days prior. The first half was a cagey affair, looking much like a game that neither side wanted to lose and Chippenham controlled possession well, patiently waiting for their openings whilst Bath flooded the box with crosses that were dealt with comfortably by Holloway, Haines and Ellison. An early booking for Spokes for a clash with Russe set the tone for the afternoon with what should have been a stonewall booking for Greenslade for a trip on Bradbury going unpunished minutes later, the resulting free kick didn’t trouble the Roman back line. Luke Haines was next to test the Roman resolve but his strike from distance sailed over into the LIT Fibre Community Stand. Hayfield then went close for the Romans following three attempts to cross the ball into a dangerous area but his effort deflected wide for a corner. Henry would then stop Jordan Thomas with a routine save at his feet. A half chance for Spokes came when a long ball was chased down by Fasanmade before Grant slid the ball into Spokes who’s curling effort was never troubling Buse in the City goal. The best chance of the half came for Bath minutes later when Mehew was dispossessed by Tom Smith who sent Scott Wilson in on goal but his left footed effort was beaten away by Henry. Mehew would be in the headlines again just after the half after beating the Bath City line and leaving Parselle for dead he zoned in on goal with a shot seemingly imminent, however, Mehew clipped the ball across the box but nobody had made up the ground and his chance to test Buse had slipped away. Dan Hayfield then struck from distance and Will Henry clawed his effort away.

The game came to life really in the 74th minute when a long ball from Jordan Dyer met the head of Cody Cooke, Cooke’s knockdown into Jordan Thomas saw him send the ball into the box where Scott Wilson was waiting to cleverly flick the ball past Henry and give the Romans a 1-0 lead. Controversy would then take centre stage in the derby and the referee would play a starring role. After a ball down the right hand side found Cody Cooke in the box, the referee adjudged Aaron Amadi-Holloway to have fouled Cooke who dusted himself off to dispatch the penalty and give City a 2-0 lead and the game was done. Or was it? In the celebrations, Cooke got himself booked for goading Freddie Grant in his celebration and Chippenham went straight up the other end and earned a corner. The ball was delivered bang onto the head of Dan Ellison and we all know how that poem ends, a crashing header straight into the top corner lit the blue touch paper and it was game on again. The referee then made himself around a thousand new enemies when Chippenham surged forward looking for the equaliser. A cross from the left hand side from Grant found Aaron Amadi-Holloway who steamed in to outmuscle Parselle and everyone (including the retreating Bath players) thought he had when his header hit the back of the net but the referee gave a free kick to City for a foul on Parselle when it was clear to see that the former Chippenham skipper had just been beaten to the punch. A ball into the box saw Tom Owen-Evans through on goal in the dying seconds and what is a foul anywhere else on the pitch was waved away by the referee and that was that. Chippenham could feel very hard done by with some questionable decisions but the reality was Bath City would draw first blood in the A4 Derby and bragging rights would be going home with the Romans.

Countdown to kick-off






With this latest defeat, the record against the Romans reads even more unpleasant with only a 25% win rate against the noisy neighbours stretching back to 2005/2006. With 16 meetings since then, Bath have won 9 to Chippenham’s 4 with 3 draws registered as well.

With City dominating this fixture in recent years, the Bluebirds will be searching for ‘Good Omens’ as they head to Twerton Park. One amongst them might be the last visit there saw the Bluebirds came away with all 3 points with goals from Harry Parsons, Spencer Hamilton and Jordan Young giving Chippenham a 3-1 win against their local rivals for the first time since they arrived in the league in 2017!

Chippenham will also be confident after ending the game on Boxing Day the way they did with City desperately clinging on and arguably needing a little extra help from the man in the middle to keep all three points.

One to Watch

It won’t come as much of a surprise that after already seeing them a few short days ago, Scott Wilson is the obvious threat for City. 32 goals in a calendar year already under his belt and a goal and an assist (sort of) on Boxing Day, the striker will have to once again be looked after well by the Chippenham defence if they are to get their revenge.

Familiar Faces

Probably don’t need this section this weekend with almost every member of the Chippenham and Bath squad spending time with the other. Henry, Jones, Amadi-Holloway, Mehew and Spokes will all be going up against their former club, our management Horgs and Coupey have both spent time at Bath in their playing days the latter being somewhat of club legend establishing himself alongside Jim Rollo in a very successful Bath City side of course, both of those also played in the Blue and White of Chippenham.

For Bath, Greenslade, Dyer, Parselle and Russe will be playing against their former club at Twerton Park where all of the former Bluebirds seem to have settled well in their new surroundings. With literally hundreds of other former players swapping between the two clubs down the years, we will leave you to add those guys in and reminisce about your own personal heroes that have walked the well trodden path of the A4.

Bluebirds News

For Chippenham one huge positive of Boxing Day was the return of Alex Bray and Jake Evans to the TS Stadium Crowd. Evans of course made a goalscoring return against Maidstone the game before but back in front of his own fans was a special one for the versatile midfielder. Alex Bray (Chippenhams longest serving player) returned from injury as well and looked lively down the right hand side and hopefully more minutes in the tank will see him back to his brilliant best over the coming weeks. No injuries looked to be sustained but with games coming thick and fast and recovery being an important part of the game, no doubt there will be a little tinker needed for Horgan and Co to freshen up the ranks and ensure that everything is left out there on the Twerton Park surface.

One thing that needs to be commended after Boxing Day is how brilliant it was to see so many Bluebirds (and Romans) in attendance giving us a bumper crowd of 1649 (our highest attendance of the season). All of our volunteers and staff worked tirelessly to get everyone in, comfortable and make sure that spectators enjoyed the day and it doesn’t go unnoticed, all of us at the club would like to thank everyone who made the day special and although we didn’t get the result we craved, days like this are all down to you guys and we hope you return to give us more amazing days like this at the TS Stadium. From all of us at CTFC, we wish you all a Happy New Year, don’t get too squiffy the night before and we will see you all for the next instalment of the A4 Derby at Twerton Park.


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