MATCH PREVIEW: Chippenham Town vs Bath City | National League South | Tuesday 26th December 2023

Published: at 3:12pm

The Festive Season of National League South football is upon us as Bath City are the visitors to #TheTSStadium in Part 1 of the back-to-back A4 Derby leading up to the New Year!

Last Time Out

Chippenham Town will be smiling with plenty of confidence and determination ahead of Boxing Day, as we come into this game off the back of a thrilling 1-0 win against Maidstone United on Saturday on a long away day in Kent. The Bluebirds climbed up to 12th in the table with 32 points on the board prior to Christmas Day, and this will be another crucial step in maintaining their status in a hotly contested National League South for another season.

The game started out quietly in the opening 20 minutes with Maidstone creating two chances before the returning Jake Evans on his return to the side, scored a contender for our 2023/24 Goal of the Season, with a stunning strike from distance in the only goal of the game. Chippenham looked to get a few more after the break with Matt McClure and Craig Fasanmade both creating goalscoring opportunities during the 2nd half and despite a late flurry of chances from Maidstone being cleared absolutely anywhere from the goal. The Bluebirds held on to secure the dub in our final away day of 2023 to give us momentum heading into our next fixture.

Gary Horgan was delighted with his side’s performance from Saturday’s win, and had this to say in his Post-Match Reaction, with Jamie Oleszynski…

It’s a tough place to come for us to keep a clean sheet, game of very few chances, a real professional performance and really pleased with the 3 points on the road

The Opposition

We need no introduction to our opponents for Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, Bath City otherwise known as “The Romans” have been in the National League South for the last 10 years now, after being relegated from the former titled “Conference Premier” during the 2011/12 season.

Bath struggled after returning to their current division for a few seasons, before current manager Jerry Gill took charge of the side in 2017, and fortunes have sinced changed in their favour as they have maintained a play off charge for a few seasons, notably in 2019 when they finished fourth before being beaten by Dorking Wanderers in the Play-off Eliminator.

During the pandemic they finished 18th back to back in the two seasons that were wrapped up early due to Coronavirus, the clubs second lowest finish of all time.

This season, Bath currently sit in 5th place on 37 points at the time of writing, winning 10 times, drawing 7 and losing 6 in 23 games played so far. They most recently beat Welling United 4-0 this past Saturday with goals from Elliott Frear and also Cody Cooke, Jordan Thomas and Simon Wilson who we’ve mentioned in our Ones to Watch section a bit lower in the preview.

When the two sides met last season, Chippenham were winless in 10 league matches before the first A4 Derby game in Somerset which went in Chippenham’s favour as they won 3-1 in the road with goals from Harry Parsons, Spencer Hamilton and a mesmerising run and finish from Jordan Young which saw the Bluebirds claim maximum points in league action for the first time since September last season.

The last time both sides met at #TheTSStadium in January of this year, both sides played out a 0-0 draw.

Countdown to kick-off





Ones 2 Watch

Looking ahead to our “Ones 2 Watch”, we’ve picked these three who no doubt will be looking to cause an upset to The Bluebirds’s hopes of victory on #A4Derby day, and they are the notable attacking trio of Cody Cooke, Scott Wilson and Jordan Thomas, who notably scored one each during their 4-0 win against Welling United on Saturday.

Cody Cooke has been scoring for fun it seems in the Romans campaign so far with 10 goals in 23 games so far this season (at the time of writing), and the 30 year old Truro born lad has featured for the likes of Weymouth, St Mirren and as mentioned Truro City during his playing career.

Our second pick is Scott Wilson, another one who’s been banging in goals this season for Bath, he has scored 12 goals in 23 appearances, the most out of the three mentioned. Scott joined Bath last season, originally starting out at Bristol City’s academy before moves around the local area such as Weston-super-Mare and Paulton Rovers, before making the jump to the league above us with Macclesfield Town and Dagenham & Redbridge a few to name from his playing career.

Jordan Thomas is the final one to watch out for on Boxing Day, the 22-year old has burst onto the scene in Somerset with 9 goals in 23 games so far this season, Jordan signed for the Romans, originally joining from North Leigh at the start of the season where he scored 14 goals in the Southern Premier League South last season alone, after originally playing for Didcot Town at the start of his career.

Famous & Familiar Faces

With the distance between Chippenham and Bath being only 14.5 miles (by car that is), you’re bound to have a lot of familar faces who have worn the white and black stripes of Bath and the mighty blue of Chippenham Town.

Perhaps the most famous name who has both played for both Chippenham and Bath is of course Adie Mings, the father of England International, former Bluebirds and current Premier League defender for Aston Villa, Tyrone Mings. Adie is someone who’s very familar among the Bluebirds faithful, starting his time at Melksham before moving to Chippenham for a short spell, followed by a move to Bath City which started his move up the non-league pyramid.

Adie had spells as a target man style striker for Gloucester City, Forest Green Rovers and Basingstoke Town. He returned to Chippenham helping us acheive promotion in the 2002 season to the Southern Premier League.

Adie then took a reduced playing role with the Blues and stepped up to be Assistant Manager to Tommy Saunders before the latter left the club and Adie followed. A loan spell back at Gloucester and a quick stop in Weston-super-Mare kept the Chippenham man busy until his return in 2007 to take the position of first team manager. 

Adie guided Chippenham to the playoffs of the Southern Premier League in his time with the Blues. Adie swapped the dugout for the stands in 2012 when he left Chippenham for the bright lights of London to take on a role as a scout within the Chelsea FC set up.

As for familar faces, we of course have to mention two names who have most recently played for Chippenham in defender Kieran Parselle and midfielder Luke Russe with a honourable mention being Jordan Dyer, who at the time was on loan from Exeter City during his only spell at Chippenham in late 2020.

Kieran and Luke have notably picked up Player of the Season awards at Chippenham in back to back years respectively before being picked up by the Romans in the past few seasons, both players have spent several seasons at Chippenham Town where they both played a pivotal role with the squad in the Bluebirds’s playoff heroics to beat Havant & Waterlooville on the final day of season, before beating Dartford in a dramatic Play-off Eliminator followed by a last-minute defeat to Ebbsfleet in the semi-finals during the 2021/22 season.

In case you wanted to know more players who have worn shirts of both sides during the years, then we’ve listed them here. Starting off with current Bluebirds players, Aaron Amadi-Holloway and Tom Mehew who both had loan playing time with Bath a few seasons ago, Freddie Grant who played for Bath, before moving to Slough, Farnborough and to us this season, Will Henry who joined Chippenham in 2021 and has appeared 100+ times for Chippenham and finally Luke Spokes who joined Chippenham this season from Bath City after originally signing on a free from Grimsby Town.

Kieran Parselle and Luke Russe made the jump to Bath from Chippenham most recently as we mentioned above, others also include Danny Greenslade who signed for Bath in the same season as Parselle. The trio of Ross Stearn, Nick McCootie and Nat Jarvis who have played for both sides and currently play for local NLS side Taunton Town, and other notable names include David Pratt, Andy Sandell, former player and current recently promoted Premier League referee Sam Allison, James Morton, Chris Allen, Lee Phillips, Jim Rollo and Will Puddy just to name a ever-growing last of players to play for both sides.

Bluebirds News

Following the win against Maidstone on Saturday, Chippenham will be delighted to have Jake Evans back in the first team picture, with a stunning strike in the only goal of the game to reward Chippenham with 3 points before Christmas will be superb news for the squad, another name returning to the team from injury is Alex Bray, who came on as a second half sub and ran his socks off, most notably doing a Gareth Bale and having to run off the pitch to beat the Maidstone backline to create a chance of the end of the match.

Chippenham may be without the likes of Freddie Grant and Tom Owen-Evans who both were not featured in Saturday’s squad at Maidstone with injury concerns. Eddie Jones may also be another sidelined after being subbed off in the second half with injury, the final one who may be still out is Tyreke Johnson who has been sidelined with a injury for the past few weeks despite featuring on the bench for Maidstone away.

We of course want to see as many of you pack out #TheTSStadium on Boxing Day, for what promises to be another Christmas cracker of football, as every #A4Derby game always delivers. 

Supporters are reminded that Match Tickets can ONLY be purchased at the gate (on the day), tickets cannot be purchased in-advance.

Adults: £15, Senior Citizens*£11, Junior (16-18): £5, Child (5-15)**: £3

*Students with a student card and serving Armed Forces personnel with an ID card.

**U16’s FREE when accompanied by a paying adult.

The club have also advised supporters attending, that they need to arrive as early as possible with a big crowd expected. Please make sure you give enough time, so you don’t miss out on what will be a big game ahead!

Come on down Tuesday, be the 12th man, show your support, create an atmosphere, tell your friends and family what’s going on. Show your support for Gary, Matt, Sharps and the squad and as ever and always..


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