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MATCH PREVIEW: Havant & Waterlooville vs Chippenham Town | National League South | Saturday 12th August 2023

Published: at 12:53pm

Matt Chappell previews our first away game of the new season.

The #Bluebirds kick off their National League South away-days on the road as we make the trip down down to Westleigh Park to face Havant & Waterlooville in match day 2 of the 2023/24 Season.

Gary Horgan’s side will be looking to continue their great start to league life for the new campaign as they build on last week’s 1-0 win against Aveley at #TheTSStadium which was played out in-front of 569 supporters.

Chippenham took the lead just after the 25th minute mark with Tyreke Johnson, who on his full league debut, scored with a cross-cum shot which completely deceived Aveley’s Jonathan North in between the sticks as it sailed into the top left hand corner of the goal. Many supporters will be certainly eyeing up Tyreke Johnson’s performances from this past weekend, and he’ll be certainly one to watch on Saturday.

Aveley piled on many chances throughout the game with one notably towards the last moments of the match, looking to make it level to snatch a point on the road, but a strong defensive line featuring Nathaniel Williams and Aaron Amadi-Holloway who also made their league debuts in a new-look centre back partnership and with Will Henry all preventing chances going past and to seal all the points and maintain a 6th league position in the table from the opening day.

Our Hosts

Which brings us to our hosts for Saturday, Havant & Waterlooville. The Hawks are managed by former Newport County and Forest Green Rovers midfielder Jamie Collins and will want to forget their first game of the new season, as they fell victim to a 1-0 defeat against returning VNLS side Weston Super-mare with former Chippenham Town striker Marlon Jackson scoring just after 1 minute.

Havant start their 5th season in the National League South since being relegated from the 2018/19 National League season, looking to build on last season’s league position where they finished just two places outside the Play-off Eliminator positions in 10th, after spending the majority of the season in range of the Play-offs, before a 14 game winless period (7 draws and 7 losses) saw them finish just short.

Jamie Collins and his coaching staff have spent no time waiting around and have brought plenty of new faces through the Westleigh Park doors and many will recognise one in particular being Tom Mehew, the ex-Bluebird midfielder joined the Hawks after spending two years with Chippenham Town originally on-loan in the same season his assist to Jordan Young for his first goal in our 2-0 win against his new employers Havant in the “Winner Takes All” season finale two seasons ago was his most notable moment with the Bluebirds, before being released by Bristol Rovers last season and in the process came back to Chippenham on a permanent basis.

Other players through the doors at Havant include forward Ansu Janneh who joined from Dagenham and Redbridge and two players with NLS experience being Devante Stanley and Roarie Deacon both joining from St. Albans City and Maidstone United respectively.

Both sides met last season with our hosts gaining the upper hand with a 3-0 win at #TheTSStadium with goals from James Roberts and a brace from danger-man Muhammadu Faal, before in the most recent reverse fixture, points were shared in April with Matt McClure’s goal in the first half all but sealing the win for Chippenham before Charlie Ruff equalised in the 93rd minute to prevent the points being snatched from the Hawks’ beak.

Bluebirds Team News

As for Team News, the Bluebirds may be still without Tom Owen-Evans as the returning Bluebirds forward recovers from his injury sustained during the PSF defeat against Basingstoke Town and Luke Haines who is still serving the reminder of his match ban from last season at his previous club Hereford, after being sent off in their game against Blyth Spartans in last season’s finale.

There is good news as Luke Spokes who also was sidelined with injury during PSF’s made his debut for Chippenham last weekend against Aveley, coming on as a sub for Will King and gaining 13 minutes of football under his tally will be good news for Gary Horgan and his coaching staff and brilliant to see him back so quickly.

Saturday’s game will be a big test for Horgan’s side as they look to continue their 100% start to the season, against a side like Havant with the calibre of squad they have. We hope to see as many of you make the journey down to Hampshire to cheer behind the goal.

Our apologies for the cancellation of our supporters coach but we hope we’ll still see you all on the road with us. Supporters can purchase their match tickets in-advance online via Havant’s ticket portal if you want to secure your ticket before you travel.

If you’re unable to make the trip then BlueArmy TV & Radio will be broadcasting LIVE Radio Match commentary via our Mixlr page with Jamie Oleszynski bringing you all the latest coverage on the airwaves in case you want to listen in from where you are.

See you Saturday, COME ON YOU BLUEBIRDS!

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