MATCH PREVIEW: Chippenham Town vs Melksham Town | Pre-Season Friendly – Ian Monnery Trophy, Saturday 29th July 2023
It’s the Ian Monnery Trophy and also Family Fun Day, so come and join us at The Thornbury Surfacing Stadium.
Against the backdrop of the Thornbury Surfacing Stadium, amongst the madness of a Family Fun Day, Chippenham Town close their Pre-Season programme by igniting their eldest rivalry, greeting old friends and paying tribute to a true legend when they host Melksham Town FC in the Ian Monnery Cup.
Last Time Out
Last time out for the Bluebirds was a disappointing one to say the least. Results are never important in pre-season but losing 1-0 at the death to Basingstoke albeit through a goal that had no right standing, was arguably the lesser of the two blows as pre-season signing, Tom Owen-Evans departed the TS Stadium on crutches awaiting the diagnosis of what seemed to be an ankle injury. Plenty of positives however for the Bluebirds with slick movement and liquid football on display at times it was a joy to watch as the Town forced Basingstoke so far back they were almost in Sheldon and if not for a world-class save from the Stoke GK, Matt McClure would have put the cherry on top of one of the best moves of the night following Tyreke Johnson’s wicked delivery.
Alas, it wasn’t to be for the Bluebirds and I am sure they will be looking to bounce straight back in front of their home supporters when they take on our old rivals, Melksham Town. Of course these days, Melksham are more friend than foe but will no doubt be looking to add the scalp of Chippenham Town to their positive pre-season campaign and are more than capable of bringing a challenge to the TS Stadium and taking home the Ian Monnery Cup.
Remembering Ian Monnery
Ian “Mono” Monnery. Over 800 appearances across a career that saw him play for both Chippenham Town and Melksham Town. He holds the record for all time appearances for the Bluebirds and has been described by many a supporter from his era as “the best the club has ever had”.
Ian sadly passed away on the 27th of January 2022 at the age of 63 and is sadly missed by all who knew him, especially his devoted wife Sue and his two girls, Carly and Lindsay. With Chippenham and Melksham both coming together in celebration of his life and career, and with him being such a devoted family man, perhaps the best day for CTFC to hold their Family Fun Day with hopefully a great many children in the community coming along to enjoy the FanZone and the game contested for the trophy that is his legacy with the two sides.
Our opponents will need ZERO introduction with Melksham littered with former Bluebirds from the top down. Chaired by former CTFC manager Darren Perrin, Melksham are now managed by another former manager in Mark Collier who delivered arguably one of Chippenham’s finest moments in 2016/17 by winning the Southern Premier League and sealing promotion to the National League South for the first time in club history.
A nice little stat as well with Chippenham making the First Round Proper of the FA Cup only 4 times in their history and 3 of those managers will be present on Saturday with Darren Perrin doing it in 2005, Mark Collier leading us to a home tie with Northampton and of course Gary Horgan who went one better and defeating League One, Lincoln City to reach a 2nd Round tie with Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium breaking the oldest record in the FA Cup of a clubs continued involvement without making the 2nd Round!
So, the stage is set for Chippenham to come out and perform in their final pre-season game before taking on Aveley in the National League South opener a week later. Of course, they will have to do this without a couple of key figures with Luke Haines, Tom Owen-Evans and Luke Spokes all unlikely to feature through injury. We are hopeful that Spokes won’t be far away and may even feature a little on Saturday, but certainly for Haines and TOE it’s a game too soon. Gary Horgan has been quick to impress upon supporters that results aren’t the be and end all of pre-season however, will no doubt be looking to his squad for a response following a defeat on Tuesday night against Basingstoke. This will definitely be one that the Bluebirds will want to assert their dominance to pick up an important trophy but also to really show their fans what they have assembled over the close season building on some huge away performances over the schedule.
Family Fun Day
Don’t forget that Family Fun Day is the huge event taking place this Saturday with the top car park being turned into a FanZone for our young supporters to enjoy as a part of the day where they will also have FREE ENTRY to the game kicking off at 2pm. We want to see as many of you down as possible so please, tell your friends, bring your family along and get involved with what should be a brilliant day for the club ahead of the National League South campaign. Please note that the Bristol Road Car Park will fill up quickly as the top car park is closed to ALL VEHICLES after 10am and additional parking will be available along Bristol Road and if needed at Sheldon School which is just a short walk through the Donkey Fields to the Stadium.
If you would like to help us out with Family Fun Day, come along and support as a club then please, feel free to do so, we want as many of our club patrons around it to talk to our young supporters and potentially those who haven’t come to the TS Stadium before to talk about the club, what we do and encourage their support as well as yours so the more the merrier! We shall be setting up from 10am and the FanZone will open at 11am with our Management and Players joining us as they arrive so come on down and meet the team, get your shirts and scarves signed and enjoy what we are hoping to be a fantastic occasion for all.