MATCH PREVIEW: Chippenham Town vs Hampton & Richmond Borough | National League South, Sat 26th Feb 2022
Jamie Oleszynski previews our upcoming National League South fixture at home to Hampton & Richmond Borough.
The Bluebird’s final game in February will take place at The Thornbury Surfacing Stadium against Hampton and Richmond Borough, and Chippenham will certainly be looking to bounce back from the stoppage time heartbreak that they faced this time last week. Luckily if you’re a Bluebirds fan however, our opponents come into this encounter with an even worse report card of late. Hampton have lost 4 of their last 5 matches and by the time that Saturday rolls around, the Beavers would have only scored once in the last month. Both sides come into this tussle with late goals blemishing their previous matches, as Chelmsford City’s Cameron James headed home from a corner with only ten minutes to go, to sink Hampton to 4 successive losses.
One of the biggest talking points coming from Chippenham’s previous match against Eastbourne Borough was the muscle injury to Will Richards. It is likely that the centre-half will miss this match, perhaps as well as a few more as Mike Cook confirmed that Will had suffered a hamstring injury . In terms of other injuries within the Bluebirds camp, Callum Gunner wasn’t included in the previous week’s match due to an ankle knock that forced him off in the match against Welling. Fan-favourite Oluwasegun Lawal also did not feature but he is likely to be put back into the starting eleven. Replacing the injured Richards in the Eastbourne match was Dan Griffiths, who himself returning from a knock managed to bring himself up to 4 league goals this campaign with a typical poachers finish.
Chippenham would’ve taken all three points and remained in a play-off position if it wasn’t for a fantastic strike from Watford loanee Dominic Hutchinson as the game edged into stoppage time. That last-gasp equaliser also adds to Eastbourne’s record over the Bluebirds of added time drama, with each of the last 3 matches between the sides being settled into second half stoppage time. Chippenham are two games without win, and they will be looking to bounce back into the form that helped them rise into the play-offs.
For our opponents Hampton and Richmond Borough, they will be looking to break up an even worse run of late, as the Beavers have suffered successive losses to Chelmsford City, Oxford City, Eastbourne and Ebbsfleet and the only goal they have bagged in that time was a consolation against Eastbourne. Hampton Manager Gary McCann had labelled the Beaver’s defeat at the hands of Chelmsford as a “Lapse in concentration” and had conceded the fact that they have to take ownership of the recent run of form. A reason for concern if you are a Chippenham fan however is that Hampton come into this match with a week fresher squad, after their match with Tonbridge Angels was postponed moments before kick-off due to the effects of Storm Eunice. Hampton currently find themselves down in 16th, sandwiched in between Bath City and Concord Rangers, so this game will be a marker for both sides and whoever comes out on top, it will likely be some good points to gain on the teams around them.
The return fixture was played at the Cleo Saul Beveree Stadium back in October, and at that point Hampton were the first team to keep a clean sheet against the Bluebirds in their league campaign. The encounter in late October ended in stalemate, and overall was a game that lacked quality from both sides. Both goalkeepers were only tested with simple efforts and particularly Will Henry’s clean sheet continued Chippenham’s run of games without a loss away from home.
Both sides have lots to play for and will be looking to mount a push further up the table. Barring the Beavers defence forming a formidable dam in front of their goal, you would expect the attacking prowess of the likes of Jordan Young and Alefe Santos to continue their stellar start to 2022.
Ticket information for tomorrows game can be reached here.
COME ON YOU BLUEBIRDS