MATCH PREVIEW: Chippenham Town vs Bristol Rovers | Pre-Season Friendly, Tue 12th July 2022
Jamie Oleszynski previews our second pre-season friendly game home to Bristol Rovers.
Chippenham Town will face off against fellow West Country side Bristol Rovers on Tuesday, in what will be The Bluebird’s second pre-season match, and the first to take place at the Thornbury Surfacing Stadium. It has actually been 71 days since the last first team match that Chippenham have played at their home ground, with the memorable visit of Hungerford and Noah Coppin’s frantic winner in the dying seconds.
The first test will be against Bristol Rovers, who themselves are coming into this clash off of the back of a dramatic campaign- in which they secured promotion to League 1 with an improbable 7 goal victory against Scunthorpe on the final day. Rovers will probably bring a number of academy prospects with them to Chippenham in order to asses their position ahead of the new season, and prepare them for their youth campaigns.
Gary Horgan may well be looking at a number of these youth players, as both clubs tend to exchange loans were mutually beneficial to both sides. Players that have joined The Bluebirds on loan from the Pirates in recent times include Cameron Hargreaves, Zain Walker and Matt Buse. Midfielders Luke Russe and Tom Mehew have both followed a similar path, in being signed on loan, before joining the first-team squad on a permanent basis, although Russe’s 2022/23 future is yet to be confirmed.
There were are few pieces of news for Bluebird fans. With the first being the 1-1 draw that took place at Highworth on Wednesday night, with academy player Rasaq Alamu scoring in the final moments to level it. A number of youth players including Noah Coppin, Landon Golding and Ethan Hill (amongst others) signing for the first team squad. Another big signing of the week was the confirmation that fan-favourite Will Richards has committed his future to The Bluebirds for 2022/23.
The biggest news of the week however was the release of the 2022/23 National League South fixture list. Chippenham will return to Ebbsfleet United on the first day of the season, which is where the campaign came to an end for The Bluebirds in 2021/22. The final day is an away trip to Dulwich Hamlet, where The Bluebirds will be hoping for similar dramatics to that fateful Saturday in Havant.