MATCH PREVIEW: Chippenham Town vs Worthing | National League South | Saturday 16th March 2024

Published: at 10:39am

Simon Lawrence previews our home game against high-flyers, Worthing.

The Bluebirds return to the Thornbury Surfacing Stadium this weekend in the Vanarama National League South with the perfect tonic in the system after bouncing back in some style on Tuesday evening at Huish Park and Chippenham will once again need to be at their best ahead of this weekends opponents, Worthing FC.

Last Time Out

Last time out for the Bluebirds was one of those evenings that all who follow the Blue Army will remember for many years to come. When the fixtures came out at the start of the season, many if not all Bluebirds would have been looking out for the game against Yeovil at Huish Park, a huge team that no less than 10 years ago were securing promotion to the Championship! Chippenham stepped out on Tuesday and put in a performance that would shock the league leaders and more importantly claim 3 huge points with a flawless display that saw goals from Aaron Amadi-Holloway, Matt McClure and Craig Fasanmade give the Bluebirds a 3-1 win against the Glovers.

Speaking with Gary Horgan after the game he was obviously delighted that the boys backed up a good performance against Hampton by once again creating and this time, converting the chances created to give his team what he described as a “Thoroughly deserved victory”

With the excitement flowing through the veins of the Blue Army after dispatching the ‘Champions Elect’ the games do not get any easier as the Bluebirds will have to contend this weekend with another side harbouring ambition of playing in the National League next season, Worthing FC.

You can also catch up on all the action from Yeovil Town 1-3 Chippenham Town, visit our match centre below.

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The Opposition

Worthing FC nicknamed the ‘Rebels’ were formed in 1886 and play their football from the fantastic facility at Woodside Road in the town of Worthing. Currently Worthing are managed by their caretaker manager, former captain, Aarran Racine who replaces long standing manager Adam Hinshelwood who recently left the Rebels to take the top job at York City in the National League. Under Hinshelwood, Worthing have had another fantastic season and currently find themselves in 3rd position and will need to end the season strong under Racine in order to maintain that position and secure passage into the National League South Playoffs.

Racine of course is no stranger to this pressure as he was playing in the Worthing side that made it all the way to the Semi-Final stage last season beating Braintree 2-1 in the eliminator before succumbing to eventual winners Oxford City 2-0. In order to ensure they avoid the eliminator this time around, Racine will have to find a way to turnaround what has been a woeful wobble for the Rebel with 4 defeats in their last 5 games, claiming only a solitary victory against Chelmsford and suffering defeats against Welling, Braintree, Taunton and Farnborough. But if there is one thing we know about Worthing is that they are more than capable of doing so and we will need to be at our very best to deny them. Let’s take a more in depth look at our opponents this weekend and our recent history against the Rebels.

Countdown to kick-off





Head to Head

The Head to Head record against Worthing FC is not as bad as you would think for a side that since coming into the league, have never failed to make the end of season dance. With 3 games between the two sides, Worthing have clutched victory once against Chippenham with 2 occasions ending in a draw. This gives Worthing a Win Percentage of 33.3% and the Draw equating for the majority 66.7%.

Across the 3 games, Worthing have notched 4 goals and Chippenham posting 2 in response giving Worthing 1.33 GPG to Chippenham’s 0.67 GPG. Of course, the last time out for these two sides saw a thrilling game at Woodside Road end in a win for the Rebels with Matt McClure giving Chippenham a 1-0 half time lead before Worthing powered back with an Ollie Pearce hat-trick to take all 3 points.

However, the Bluebirds will take solace in the fact that Worthing have never beaten the Bluebirds at the TS Stadium and in fact in that meeting (a 1-1) draw at the end of last season, Chippenham can consider themselves on the receiving end of one of the most stonewall penalties in the history of football not going their way when Alex Bray nicked in front of his man before being scythed to the floor but the referee decided not to point to the spot much to the bemusement of the whole TS Stadium and that would surely have given the Blues a chance to take all 3 points on that evening.

Familiar Faces

Familiar Faces this weekend is a nice easy one with none of our current squad and none of their current squad gearing up to face their former employers this weekend. In fact, looking over the archives only TWO players we could find have spent time at both Chippenham and Worthing and both of those players were loan signings for the Bluebirds from Swindon Town albeit, very popular ones. Ricky Aguiar, who lit up the TS Stadium during his time with the Bluebirds was signed by Swindon from Worthing and Ricky has spent a bit of time on loan there this season even playing against Chippenham in the fixture at Woodside Road delivering the cross for Ollie Pearce’s 2nd goal and controversially coming together with Ed Williams to begin the sequence that saw Worthing equalise whilst Williams was still on the floor. Ricky has now been called back to Swindon for the remainder of the season and both us and Worthing will be keeping tabs on how their former loan star does in the Red & White of the Robins.

The other player is one of the unsung heroes of the CTFC Playoff run in 2021/2022, Mo Dabre. Mo, a tricky winger who came in for the back end of the season, won the hearts of Bluebirds fans with his hard work, his versatility and his cheeky smile that beamed all the way to the playoff S/F with Ebbsfleet. Before leaving Swindon, Mo made 18 appearances for Worthing and was sent off against his former side as well as scoring a goal the last time he came to the TS with the Rebels. Of course now, Mo plays for Tonbridge but will always be remembered fondly by fans of both Worthing and Chippenham Town.

Famous Faces

Was a tricky one this, after a scale through Wikipedia, we couldn’t find anyone that really jumped out at us. There were a couple of nice little picks like Adam El-Abd the former Brighton & Hove defender who made 300 appearances for the Seagulls as well as 7 starts for the Egyptian National Team before ending his career at Worthing in 2022.

Former Forest Green Rovers, Sutton United and current AFC Wimbledon striker Omar Bugiel cut his teeth at Woodside Road in 2014 and it was significantly the Rebels that he was signed from by FGR after making over a century of games for Worthing scoring a stunning 45 goals in 103 games.

Lucas Covolan who’s performances for Maidstone particularly in the FA Cup this season has given him and his teammates a lot of attention on the National scene used to keep goal at Woodside making 59 appearances between the sticks for Worthing before signing for Torquay in 2019.

EFL players Sonny Fish and Jasper Pattenden also spent time with Worthing as did serial club collector Steve Claridge who played one game for them in 2007 in a career that included stints at Wolverhampton, Portsmouth, Millwall amongst MANY others.

Ones to Watch

Probably the easiest of all of these that we have done throughout the season. When a man has 33 goals in 36 games, you tend to notice and with Ollie Pearce, Worthing have undoubtedly the most prolific marksman in the National League South which with a strong end to the campaign for Pearce could see him break the record for Most Amount of Goals EVER in a National League South campaign with the record currently being held by Dave Tarpey at 44 for Maidenhead in 2016-17.

Either way, he has all but wrapped up the Golden Boot this season with Shaun Jeffers 10 goals behind Pearce for this term it seems inevitable that Pearce will be grabbing at least one piece of silverware this season. With goals to his name already against the Bluebirds this season, nothing short of a brilliant performance from our defensive unit or an act of god will stop Ollie Pearce from delivering a dangerous blow to the Bluebirds so we send out arguably our most obvious warning of the season to the boys, WATCH OUT FOR OLLIE PEARCE.

Bluebirds News

Following that fantastic win against Yeovil on Tuesday, Gary Horgan delivered more good news in the fact that nobody had anything new to report on the injury front and all substitutions were tactical and in no way forced. There might be a bit of fatigue in the squad after playing two 96 minute games in such a short space of time but it would seem that all is well within the camp with many of the lads heading for a celebratory shindig at the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday. Eddie Jones and Alex Bray we are told are getting closer with Freddie Grant more than likely due to miss much of the remainder of the season with his ankle injury leaving Grant hobbling around the TS Stadium on crutches for the last few weekends.

Last time, I asked supporters to answer the call to arms and head down to Yeovil to get behind the boys and I couldn’t be more delighted with the pictures, videos and scenes witnessed in the away end as Bluebirds fans got to celebrate a fantastic win after the bitter disappointment of losing so late on at the weekend. Away from home we just seem to have it dialled in at the moment and much has been said of our home form and the inconsistencies shown in front of the TS Stadium crowd. Whilst we all have our thoughts and theories on why this might be, one thing is for certain is that we have got a brilliant squad of players and a fantastic management team that will always be striving to deliver the next big result at home and give 110% for the Blue Army every time they step over the white line.

They deserve your support, they have given us another fantastic memory to cherish on Tuesday with a MASSIVE win against Yeovil Town and nothing would make all of us here at Chippenham Town FC happier than seeing you all at the TS Stadium on Saturday to cheer us on in what is no doubt going to be another difficult game against a very difficult opponent. Making the TS Stadium a fortress is a group effort, obviously the management and the players have to do the bulk of the work but you guys as supporters have a critical role to play in making Hardenhuish Park an address visiting teams don’t want to pop into their Sat Nav! With it still all to play for and every game vital to adding points to a tally to achieve our ambitions within the National League South for this season, make yours the voice that matters and come down and get behind the boys this weekend against Worthing FC.


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