MATCH PREVIEW: Chippenham Town vs Welling United | National League South | Saturday 23rd March 2024

Published: at 2:45pm

The Bluebirds return to the Thornbury Surfacing Stadium on Saturday for Non-League Day 2024. With the Bluebirds looking to continue a fine run of form which has seen them win their last THREE games in a row and narrow the gap between themselves and those sought after spots for the NLS Play-Offs!

Last Time Out

Last time out for the Bluebirds was a bit of a collectors item. A game played on a Wednesday with Gary Horgan taking his men down to Somerset for a clash against Taunton Town at Wordsworth Drive. Buoyed by victories against Yeovil and Worthing, the Bluebirds arrived full of confidence in themselves if not entirely on the state of the playing surface! With the well documented problems with the pitch at Taunton, it was a credit to them that the game took place but it has to be said, it made for a real leveller as Chippenham never really managed to hit the dizzying heights of their sharp passing game as seen in the two previous victories.

However, Chippenham adapted well to the conditions of the surface and after a couple of early warning signs from the home side, it was the Town who took the lead when Dan Ellison’s inch perfect long ball into Luke Spokes was taken down, cut inside and dispatched past Lloyd Irish in the Taunton goal for a 1-0 lead. Taunton equalised just after the half with a long range effort from Ollie Chamberlain following a cleared corner and it looked to be enough to deny the Bluebirds their 3rd straight win but another wave of the wand in the dugout saw Pele Koussioue thrown on for the final few minutes and after Tom Mehew broke through down the left hand side, Pele tapped home the cross to send the travelling fans into raptures and send the Bluebirds back down the M4 with all 3 points.

After the game, Horgs praised his team for coming out on top in the tricky conditions of the Wordsworth Drive surface and expressed his delight with the current form of the team as well as giving praise to young star Pele who has been “In with the lads for a while now and it’s taken a little bit of time to get us to this point, but we know he is a good player and he’s a young one too so one to keep an eye on” Gary also suggested as always, this weekend was going to be another tough game in a tough league and our opponents this weekend Welling, will be no different as they look to bring the winning ways to a halt for Chippenham Town.

You can also catch up on all the action from Taunton Town 1-2 Chippenham Town, visit our match centre below.

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Match Highlights

The Opposition

Welling United, the Wings were formed in 1963 and have enjoyed a successful time of late in the National League South after a fairly below average start under Danny Bloor, new manager Rod Stringer has breathed new life into the club and with only ONE defeat in ELEVEN games as Welling manager has clearly made them a very difficult side to beat and the change in fortune has seen Welling accelerate away from the relegation spots they once occupied and into 16th place and 6 points away from the drop zone. Of course, Welling will be all too aware that with plenty of football still to go between now and the end of the season, they will need a few more to breathe easier and like their Wiltshire counterparts, will need to draw on the kind of form that has recently seen them beat the likes of Yeovil and Worthing! For Chippenham, Wednesday’s win has taken them up into 12th place and now sit 9 points outside of 7th place, currently occupied by St Albans. Can Chippenham put together a late run that would seem them defy all odds once again to make it to the end of season show? The bookies would likely call this a long shot in every sense but with Horgan at the helm, a man who has built quite a reputation for defying the odds during his time at the club, there are more than a few right now that feel “It might be worth a quid”

Countdown to kick-off





Head to Head

The Head to Head record against the Wings is not the best of reads for Chippenham supporters and after 3 wins on the bounce, the Bluebirds will have to buck the trend against Welling with the Wings registering 6 wins in 12 attempts against Chippenham. The Bluebirds have tasted victory on 3 occasions with 3 draws rounding off the tale of the tape giving Gary Horgans men a 25% Win Percentage against the Wings with Welling posting 50% in response. In those 12 meetings, Welling have scored exactly DOUBLE the amount of goals that the Chippenham have with the score 18 to 9 giving Welling a 1.75 GPG to Chippenham’s 0.75.

However, Chippenham fans will take solace in the fact that in the last 3 meetings between the two sides, they are undefeated with two draws and a 3-2 win against the Wings at the TS Stadium last season giving hope that the tide has turned and we can continue our good form against Welling in recent games. Earlier in the season, the two sides played out a 0-0 draw at Park View Road where chances were few and far between for both sides as defences won the day on both sides and another resolute defensive display coupled with our recent prowess in front of goal will fill Bluebirds with confidence that they can extend their winning run to 4!

Familiar Faces

We have the luxury of looking back over our previous preview against Welling for this one and whilst no current member of either squad is gearing up to face their former employer, one player did share the two clubs in a career that took him to many places over his time. Danny Bailey who played for Chippenham between 2003-2005 and also played 22 games in 1999-2000 for Welling whilst Chippenham were plotting their path to Wembley Stadium in the FA Vase. The midfielder also made over 200 appearances for Exeter City and also had spells at our local rivals Bath City as well as Forest Green Rovers and Weymouth. Upon his departure from Chippenham in 2005, Bailey would play a handful of games for Chesham, Stansted and finally Ware before hanging up his boots in 2006.

Famous Faces

In their short 60 years as a club, Welling have had their fair share of Famous Faces come through at Park View Road in both the dugout and on the pitch. Of course, Warren Feeney managed the side last year and before that, former England manager and the man who handed Beckham the armband, Peter Taylor was in charge at the Wings.

Some Premier League talent has taken to the pitch as well with Marek Rodek of Fulham and Slovenia, Darren Randolph of Middlesbrough and Ireland and former Swansea defender Alfie Mawson all spending time with the Wings on loan but we have gone for perhaps their most famous son as the feature this week. One of the voices synonymous with football over the last decade, Andy Townsend. One hell of a career that saw Townsend make over 500 Premier League appearances for the likes of Aston Villa, Southampton, Chelsea, Norwich, Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion as well as for the Republic of Ireland where he made 70 caps including appearing at 2 World Cups and even captaining the side in the 1994 World Cup in the United States. Townsend would go on to have a hugely successful career as a pundit and commentator for ITV Sport, BT Sport and several Radio channels including TalkSport and BBC 5 Live. And where did it all start? It started with 105 appearances for Welling United between 1980-1984. A lot of these where they started sections are a handful of youth games before moving on but making over a century of starts for Welling in the 80’s and going on to have the career he did, there is no doubt that Andy Townsend is definitely Welling’s most famous son!

One to Watch

It was a toss up between two for me this week. With Welling’s recent resurgence, there have been some big performances across the board from every member of the Wings squad but in particular Reece Grant who has been really doing well leading the line for Welling of late can consider himself unlucky just to slightly lose this one over his team mate who we have selected as our ‘One to Watch’ this weekend, Sonny Fish.

Crawley Town loanee Fish, who has also had loans at Worthing and Tonbridge now finds himself on loan for the remainder of this season at Welling where he has made an immediate impact. A striker that can also come off the wide areas, Fish has been instrumental in Welling’s recent run of good form hitting the back of the net 8 times for the Wings making him the clubs top scorer so far this season. He will no donut be looking to add to his tally whilst Chippenham defenders Haines, Ellison and Amadi-Holloway who themselves have enjoyed fantastic form of late will no doubt be looking to dominate once again and keep the Fish from his food.

Bluebirds News

With a tough pitch on Wednesday and a few short days to recover, there could well be a few changes to the line up from the win against Taunton with Gary Horgan keen to keep this winning run ticking over. We saw on Wednesday that Matt McClure was missing and the captain should be returning to the squad this weekend which will be a welcome boost for the Bluebirds. Alex Bray marked his return from injury with a late cameo against the Peacocks as did Nat Williams from suspension. Eddie Jones remains sidelined as does Freddie Grant who celebrated louder than most in the Mixlr chat the other night, delighted with sides performance on the road!

So with 3 wins in 3 under our belts, non-League day to celebrate and a chance for all EFL Season Ticket Holders to join us at the TS Stadium this weekend for as little as £8! We are hoping for a bumper crowd this weekend. With our ST holders entitled to a FREE DRINK in the Bluebirds Bar by our way of thanks for continued support this season, there should be a real party atmosphere at Hardenhuish Park for this big game against Welling United. So come on down this weekend and pack the park, get behind the boys and as always,


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