MATCH PREVIEW: Chippenham Town vs Westbury United | Wiltshire Premier Shield Semi-Final | Tuesday 9th January 2024

Published: at 7:49pm

Simon Lawrence previews our upcoming home game against Westbury United.

After late disappointment on Saturday, the Bluebirds return their attention to cup football this week with the big game against Bromley in the FA Trophy on the horizon, Chippenham must first navigate the Wiltshire Premier Shield Semi-Final and the visit of an old foe from the Western League days, Westbury United.

Last Time Out

Last time out for the Bluebirds was a real rollercoaster of a game which sadly ended in defeat for the Town against Hemel Hempstead Town FC. A slow start for the Bluebirds was without a doubt their undoing as they surrendered an equal footing after just two minutes when a ball was fired into danger man, George Williams who’s neat turn and clever finish past Will Henry gave the Tudors a 1-0 lead with the game only a mere 120 seconds old. Chippenham got themselves back into the game and started to create a few openings with Ed Williams going close from distance and a neat move saw the same player in for a half chance which was cleared for a corner. A corner however was then the undoing of Chippenham when a delivery from Williams met the head of the captain Josh Hill. His header wasn’t quite strong enough to reach Will Henry’s goal but former Gloucester City striker, Tre Mitford was quickest to react to tap past a stranded Henry. Matt McClure was then replaced by Luke Haines with Aaron Amadi-Holloway going to lead the line and it was this move that changed the game for the Bluebirds. Right on the stroke of half-time, Eddie Jones and Ed Williams combined down the right hand side before Jones’ low cross found Amadi-Holloway in the box to tap home from close range. Game on!

The second half was all Chippenham as Gary Horgan’s men set about finding their way back and when Montel McKenzie’s reckless challenge on Jones was coupled with just as dangerous a lunge on Luke Spokes the referee Matthew Scholes pulled the red card out to seal the fate of the Hemel full-back. From the resulting free kick Haines won the first contact before Ellison nodded into the path of Alex Bray who squeezed a shot through the bodies and into the net past Craig King. A series of chances followed for the Bluebirds as the Tudors looked to hold on for a point. However, when Brandon Barzey weaved through the Chippenham defence, Will King’s challenge seemingly on the edge of the box was given as a spot kick despite protest from the Chippenham players and bench pleading with the referee to first consult his linesman as to whether it was in or out. In the end, the referee was sure enough alone to point to the spot and George Williams calmly slotted the ball past Henry to give Hemel a victory on the road and leave Bluebirds heads in hands.

After the match, Gary Horgan spoke to BlueArmy TV offering credit to Hemel for winning the game whilst bemoaning the first half performance with the early concession, the goal from the corner and stating “We just didn’t compete in the first half, didn’t win enough first contact, didn’t win enough second contact” an honest approach that Chippenham have come to appreciate from their manager. Looking ahead to the game against Bromley, Gary stated quite simply that if we compete like we did in the first half, it could be a very difficult afternoon for his side whilst being very complimentary of Bromley. So, it looks as if Horgs knows exactly what he is up against on Saturday but first, a chance for a couple of players to stake their claim for contention and as always a chance to see the depth we have beyond just the first team squad as we prepare to take on Westbury in the Wiltshire Premier Shield.

The Opposition

Formed in 1920, Westbury United FC play out of the Platinum Hyundai Park Stadium in Westbury and are currently in the Southern League Division One South. Managed by Ricky Hulbert and Lewis Porter, the White Horse Men had a good season last year finishing 10th in the Southern League D1 South and ending the season with their first ever victory in the Wiltshire Premier Shield also making them the holders of the very competition we are now due to play them in with a fantastic 3-0 victory against Swindon Town.

Of course, Chippenham are themselves a 9 time winner of the Wiltshire Shield and will be looking to get past Westbury where either Royal Wootton Bassett Town or Swindon Supermarine will be waiting for them.

Countdown to kick-off






Due to being separated by so many league for so long, the head to head record for these two sides would require much more work than we have the time for here at Blue Army Towers so, in a totally shameless plug, to learn more about our time against the likes of Westbury and many other old foes across Wiltshire, please head to the club shop and grab yourself a copy of Town United, written by the brilliant Sandie Webb to educate yourselves on all things Chippenham going right back through our illustrious history.

Familiar Faces

For a lot of the squad on Tuesday, there will be a bit of familiarity with Westbury being one of the clubs we have good links with in terms of sending our development talent there. One of those lads hoping to feature against his parent club on Tuesday will be Bevan Cross. The young academy prospect is currently out on loan with Westbury at the moment and had a starring role in their recent 2-0 victory away at Melksham.

Of course back in Chippenham, a stunning run of performances has seen Dan Ellison become the talk of terrace over recent weeks and after recently signing his first contract with the Bluebirds, you’d have noticed that Joe Sharples paid tribute to all of those who assisted in his development and you could argue none more so than Westbury with the young centre half being recalled from his time at the Platinum Hyundai Stadium to come and deputise for his parent club and the rest is history. I am sure Dan will be looking forward to Tuesday seeing his friends from a club he speaks very highly of.

One to Watch

Of course, we have mentioned Bevan Cross, a player that we know a lot about from his time at the academy but with a doubt as to whether he will play against his parent club we have picked out a few more names for you to keep an eye out for.

We have picked a trio of players that have signed from nearby rivals Corsham Town FC after their stunning run in the FA Vase last season and their strong performance in the league, players were always going to be sought after and Westbury moved to sign big centre back Sean Keet and Callum and Daniel Demkiv, two brothers that can both play off either wing and will no doubt be looking to cause danger going at whatever Chippenham defenders make the cut on Tuesday.

Famous Face – John Atyeo

Westbury United was the starting point for former Bristol City striker and England international John Atyeo.

Atyeo started his career at our Wiltshire neighbors before signing for Portsmouth as a 17 year old, he played a handful of games for Pompey before signing for Bristol City where he went on to make 645 for the Robins between 1951 and 1966, an appearance record only topped in 2014 by Louis Carey. Atyeo is also City’s top goalscorer in all competitions with a staggering 351 goals and is remembered at Ashton Gate with a statue for his service and a stand named in his honour.

Atyeo was also capped for England during Walter Winterbottom’s time as manager, scoring 5 goals in 6 games for the Three Lions between 1955 and 1957 playing alongside Duncan Edwards, Stanley Matthews and Tom Finney. He notably scored the goal that sent England to the 1958 World Cup in Sweden but failed to make the squad for the finals.

After his retirement from football in 1966 he became a full-time maths teacher (a role he juggled part-time whilst still playing for City) at a local secondary school in Warminster for over 20 years before his retirement and untimely death in 1993 aged just 61.

Bluebirds News

It will come as a shock to no one that we are not prioritising this game over the FA Trophy game on Saturday so it will also come as a shock to no one that Gary Horgan intends to blend the group of first team players with the future stars from the academy set up. This is a great chance for not only Horgan but also the fans to come on down and see what’s cooking behind the scenes. It’s no coincidence that Caine Bradbury, Will King, Dan Ellison and many more are making strides in the game. We have also seen the likes of the Lewis brothers, Pele, Mal Nicholls, Leighton Tuodolo all feature for the first team during Horgan’s tenure so get yourselves down to the TS Stadium tomorrow for a sneak preview at what’s to come. Who knows, you might even like it so much you fancy popping along to an academy game or two more often.

CTFC would like to advise all spectators that season ticket holders WILL NOT be able to use their passes on Tuesday as this is an FA Competition. You will be pleased however to know that the prices for admission have been changed accordingly and please keep an eye out for our social posts about the game for more information there.

Trophies are a rarity at most clubs at this level, the cups are the FA Cup and the FA Trophy and it would take a small miracle to win those kind of tournaments and of course, unless you’re scooping up the league title, the Wiltshire Shield offers us a good chance at picking up something shiny at the end of the season. So get yourselves down the TS Stadium on Tuesday night, cheer on the boys and let’s get ourselves in the final and something in the bag for us!


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