MATCH PREVIEW: Bath City vs Chippenham Town, Sun 2nd Jan 2022
The #Bluebirds make the trip to Twerton Park in Part 2 of the #A4Derby, and Simon Lawrence previews the first game of 2022!
After the disappointment of the first leg of the A4 derby at #TheTSStadium, the team responded in the best possible fashion by going away to Bulpit Lane and dismantling Danny Robinson’s Hungerford side 3-0 in a second half blitz with goals from Luke Russe and Harry Parsons at the double to send Chippenham into 2022 in the final playoff spot.
The game at Hungerford threw up a new challenge for manager Mike Cook and his Chippenham side as the Crusaders entered the game one place above their Wiltshire counterparts and coming into the game, even the most ardent of Chippenham supporter would have been deemed optimistic at best for thinking such a comfortable afternoon was on the cards. By the time the smoke had cleared, manager Cook was standing defiantly in front of the camera asking Chippenham supporters to trust in the process and keep the faith as his side continued to punch above their weight in the Vanarama National League South and despite playing a good few more games than most due to good fortune with COVID and early exits in the cup competitions Chippenham have ended the year the way they started it and occupy the playoffs.
As we enter 2022, we do so with a bang in Part 2 of the A4 Derby against Bath City FC at Twerton Park. In recent times, this fixture has thrown up excitement, goals and unfortunately the majority of results have seen The Romans run out the victors in the last two games at Twerton Park and you need to go back to our maiden season in the VNLS for our last win over Bath at Twerton Park in the famous 5-2 victory for the Bluebirds with goals from Smith, Pratt, Richard and Sandell (2) giving Chippenham the win. Bath however, have dominated the fixture on the whole and despite the league standings, Chippenham of course will go into this game knowing that they have a real test ahead of them if they are to get anything out of Jerry Gill’s men.
Both sides have got a good look at each other in the first game and Chippenham will be buoyed by the return to fitness of Ricky Aguiar and Harry Parsons who although featured against Bath at the first fixture, were far from full fitness and with another game under their belts in the road to recovery from illness, should be much sharper and on the bigger pitch at Bath, getting the ball down and playing football should be a lot easier to do than we found it at Hungerford. This will fill the lads with massive confidence that they can go and get the job done against their rivals and dole out a little vengeance for the beating suffered on Boxing Day.
Unfortunately for Chippenham, we aren’t without our losses coming into the game. Alex Bray will be missing out through a hamstring injury and Dan Griffiths will be serving the final game of his suspension. Harry Warwick is still missing with a combination of his back and his hamstring and Danny Greenslade will find this a game too soon after dislocating a shoulder in training. Bath will hope that their own injury concerns with Jack Batten and Elliot Frear have managed to rectify themselves although training would have been hard to come by considering they were absent only 7 days ago. Following his dismissal in the game at the first leg, David Sims-Burgess will find himself missing out for the return at Twerton Park.
Should you wish to join the #BlueArmy at Twerton Park, by this time I am sure most of us could make it there in our sleep however, with parking limited it might be best to arrive early to ensure you can grab a parking spot. Alternatively, the train over to Bath can be met with a connecting bus out towards Twerton. So, get yourselves down, come for a drink with us and cheer the lads on to hopefully our first win against the Romans on their plot since 2017.
Purchase tickets online for this fixture, here. It is recommended to buy in-advance!
COME ON YOU BLUES