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MATCH PREVIEW: Chippenham Town vs Basingstoke Town | Pre-Season Friendly, Tuesday 25th July 2023

Published: at 10:30pm

Simon Lawrence previews our first home pre-season friendly game of our schedule where we face Basingstoke Town.

For the first time in over THREE MONTHS, the Bluebirds return to the nest as Chippenham prepare to take on Basingstoke Town at the Thornbury Surfacing Stadium on Tuesday night.

Of course, this is going to provide the majority of our supporters with a first real chance to see what Gary, Matt and Joe have assembled following a big reshuffle over the close season. So it seems sensible to start with a quick round up of PSF so far away from home. We kicked things off with a 1-0 win away to Yate Town. Two different XI’s took to the field however, in the end it was a goal from Otis Lewis that separated the two teams on the night.

Cribbs were up next where a fairly youthful side took a 2-1 lead into the last minute of the game following goals from A TRIALIST and Otis Lewis once again however, a late equaliser pegged the Bluebirds back and they had to settle for a 2-2 draw.

The very next day, we travelled to Bulpit Lane to take on Hungerford in a pulsating game which saw Craig Fasanmade off the mark with the opener. A stunner from Curtis Angell levelled it up before Luke Haines scored an incredible free kick from just inside the Hungerford half. Mass changes to the team saw mostly the youngsters and trialists end the game and two goals from Hungerford in the last 10 minutes saw the Crusaders waltzed off with a 3-2 win but a great exercise for Gary Horgans men.

Perhaps the performance of pre-season followed with a 4-0 win against Swindon Supermarine. 2 from Fasanmade and another Otis Lewis goal took their tallies to 3 for pre-season before Matt McClure donning the skippers armband got in on the act with a curling effort from the edge of the box.

Chippenham then backed that win up with a 2-1 victory against a good Salisbury FC side with goals from Tom Owen Evans and a contentious own goal giving the Bluebirds bragging rights in Wiltshire.

Which brings us back to home and the visit of Basingstoke Town FC. The ‘Stoke’ come flying into this season on the crest of a wave after finishing last season as Champions of the South Central Division to take their space in the Southern Premier League, they also capped off a great season with a win at Fratton Park against AFC Bournemouth of the Premier League in the Hampshire Senior Cup. Basingstoke are currently managed by Dan Brownlie and play at the FA Complex at Winklebury in Basingstoke. The ‘Stoke’ have had a fairly good pre-season themselves, featuring wins over Hythe and Dibden and Potters Bar and a credible draw with Watford’s Under 21 side. They have also had reason to celebrate with starlet Brody Peart moving to Brighton over the summer, something every non-League football club relishes when their young talent makes it into the professional game let alone the Premier League!

Familiar faces was a little bit of a tricky one this weekend with very few spending time with both sides. But, we did find one and it was a pretty good one at that! Somewhat of a local legend in football, Steve Winter had a fantastic career around our small haven of football nirvana with spells at Taunton, Torquay, Forest Green Rovers, Yeovil and Tiverton to name a few. Steve also had a spell with Chippenham in 2006/2007 and would infamously go on to manage the club taking over from Nathan Rudge in 2013. But before all of this, Steve Winter did play 32 games for Basingstoke scoring 7 goals in his time at what was then, The Camrose making him the only link I can find between the two clubs in terms of personnel. In head-to-head between the two sides, the Bluebirds of course will of course remember with fondness doing the double over their Hampshire counterparts on the way to winning the Southern Premier League in 2016/2017. The home leg was won 2-0 courtesy of goals from Matt Jones and Andy Sandell before winning 2-1 away from home with Matt Smith and Andy Sandell on the scoresheet. Interestingly, marauding up and down the right hand side for Chippenham on both occasions, current Chippenham manager.. Gary Horgan!

Of course these days Horgs is more concerned with planning and tweaking the little patterns that make Chippenham such an entertaining side to watch and he will be buoyed this Tuesday with the potential return from a little training ground knock to Aaron Amadi-Holloway with supporters very keen to see what they are getting in a player who’s signing has provided so much excitement for the Bluebirds. Freddie Grant returned to the side against Salisbury following his injury and will no doubt be clucking to be involved after not featuring against the Whites.

These two games at home provide Chippenham with a great opportunity to come down and look at what we are building here at the club. We speak often about the ‘Community Project’ and the ‘Style of Football’ we are looking to implement at the club to make the Bluebirds not only a great football club but an entertaining watch for supporters that want to see good football done the right way!

With ticket prices lowered to just £8 for Adults, £5 for Concessions and ALL KIDS GO FREE with a PAYING ADULT. There has never been a better time to come down and check us out, make some memories, make some friends and start your own journey with CTFC!

Also, don’t forget it’s Family Fun Day on Saturday when Chippenham take on Melksham in the Ian Monnery Cup and we will of course do a bigger piece of that before the game but please, please! Grab your friends, your families, your children, everyone! and head down to the Thornbury Surfacing Stadium on Saturday 29th for Family Fun Day ALL KIDS GO FREE!!!

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