MATCH PREVIEW: Chippenham Town vs Havant & Waterlooville | National League South | Tues 15th November 2022
Simon Lawrence previews our upcoming National League South tie against Havant & Waterlooville.
It’s Vanarama National League South action under the lights at the Thornbury Surfacing Stadium again on Tuesday 15th November as we welcome Havant & Waterlooville to Wiltshire, and we will be hoping some of the magic of the Lincoln City win remains around the place.
Last Time Out
Chippenham will come into the game after finally stopping the run of defeats in the league against Dover Athletic on Saturday. With Gary Horgan back in the dugout following his absence against Cheshunt, the lads went about their business with intensity from the off and forcing the hosts into a succession of mistakes and fouls.
The first real flash point came when Lee Martin (The goalscorer against Chippenham in the VNLS Play-Off Semi-Final for Ebbsfleet last season) fouled twice in quick succession, picking up two yellow cards and seeing red much to the anger of the home side and their fans. Chippenham continued to apply pressure and saw reward for this when Alefe Santos delivered to Joe Hanks. His header forced the Dover keeper Stuart Nelson into a terrific save, but failure to clear left Dover with egg on their face as Will Tizzard stabbed home from close range to give the few travelling supporters something to cheer about on a cold day.
Half-time came around and despite the numerical advantage, it was clear Dover were not going to just go away quietly and started the half brightly. A flowing Chippenham passing move came to an end when Harry Parsons weaved through the Dover defence and his shot was blocked heroically by the defender as it was certain to be heading towards the goal. Sadly, the more Dover came forward looking for set pieces, they found one and a rare lapse in concentration in the Chippenham box allowed an area not covered to be attacked. Will Richards did his best to get something on the ball, however, this only saw it pop up to Alfie Pavey and the Dover leading goalscorer nodded home from close range to send the home fans wild.
Chippenham had the final chance of the game and probably should have taken all three points when Harry Parsons outmuscled his defender and laid the ball in to Joe Parker. With the goal to aim at, JP found the body of Stuart Nelson and the former Dorking stopper cleared. At the start of the day, most would have taken a point, however, Chippenham manager Gary Horgan couldn’t hide his disappointment that the Bluebirds didn’t take all three back to Wiltshire with them. But he did stress this game was about stopping the rot, getting some points on the board and another good performance for the lads. Craig Fasanmade completing his fitness test at the start of the game as well will be welcome news to all at Chippenham as it seems the striker will soon be featuring again for Chippenham and not a moment too soon with the visit of title chasing Havant & Waterlooville.
The Hawks will need little to no introduction to Chippenham supporters as it was at their West Leigh Park home that last year’s epic scenes and historic playoff spot was sealed with a 2-0 win, both goals coming courtesy of Jordan Young to send the Bluebirds to a play-off eliminator with Dartford and Paul Doswell’s Havant side destined to watch the end of season show after starting the season as favourites for the title.
You always felt the Hawks would be challengers again this season with their pre-season signings being the talk of the league bringing in Dorking talisman and former Hawk, Jason Prior, Danny Wright and former Chippenham winger Jake Andrews both from Torquay, Gianni Critchlow from Braintree and Joash Nembhard from Hemel Hempstead. However, the best business from Doswell and his team this season must be the retention of sought after left back Joe Newton and the signing of Muhammadu Faal from Enfield where his 35 goals in 43 appearances last year saw him make the move to Havant & Waterlooville and so far, this season has been one of the league’s best players. Interestingly, he is also the cousin of Liverpool and England defender, Joe Gomez, and will be no doubt a handful for Chippenham Town and their defence on Tuesday night.
Chippenham will come into this fixture no doubt in buoyant spirits after picking up their first points in the league for a while despite probably playing some of the better football of the season in the last five games. With key players returning to fitness and with the spirit of the underdog in this sort of scenario, Havant will be more than aware of just what the Bluebirds can do. In fact, you would need to go back to the 7th December 2019 to find the last victory the Hawks registered against the Bluebirds with that famous 2-0 win at West Leigh Park coupled with a 1-0 win for the Bluebirds at the TS Stadium giving Chippenham the double over their Hampshire counterparts last season. This however will mean little to Gary Horgan and his men knowing that this Havant are looking like a different beast this time around with only Ebbsfleet and their incredible form keeping the Hawks off the summit of the National League South this year. All signs point to another difficult game at home for Chippenham but one thing that will be most encouraging is that whenever it looks like Chippenham might have insurmountable odds, they find a way to overcome them and that is certainly what we will be looking at doing again against the might of Havant & Waterlooville.
Speaking of upsetting the odds, please note that CTFC and their officials are currently working on releasing information pertaining to the Burton Albion FA Cup 2nd Round fixture. We can tell you at the moment that plans are in motion and could well even have information by the time the Havant fixture comes around. I am hoping that this isn’t the only reason you would want to come on down to the TS Stadium and get behind the lads tomorrow night but as we saw against Lincoln only a few short games ago, nothing is quite as incredible as a packed park at the TS Stadium and your support is invaluable to this club.
More than ever we now need you at our home fixtures. Come and get behind Gary and the team, come and support your local club and as always…
COME ON YOU BLUEBIRDS!