MATCH PREVIEW: Havant & Waterlooville vs Chippenham Town | National League South | Saturday 15th April 2023
Matt Chappell previews our away game against Havant & Waterlooville.
Back to winning ways for the mighty Chippenham Town from earlier this week as we approach the end of the 2022/23 Season. We now turn our attention to this Saturday as The Bluebirds are back onto the road this (Saturday 14th April) as we make to Hampshire to face Havant & Waterlooville in the National League South at The Draper Tools Community Stadium.
Last Time Out
Chippenham Town recorded another victory confirm their status in the 2023/24 National League South with a 2-1 win at home to Hampton & Richmond Borough on Easter Monday with goals from Joe Parker and Alex Bray getting The Thornbury Surfacing Stadium roaring with cheers and celebrations, especially after the result against Slough Town last Friday, that result has most certainly been put in the rearview mirror now, and The Bluebirds will be grinning with confidence with the last three games of the season fast approaching.
The first half started slowly with two consecutive chances for Hampton & Richmond Borough before Dean Inman got the visitors the lead just before the half-time whistle. Chippenham got right back into the game when a Caine Bradbury cross was met by Alex Bray to side-foot home. The winning goal came on seventy-eight minutes as Parker was played in behind the defence and he ran through to neatly beat Julian. Two minutes later Williams crossed to substitute Craig Fasanmade who headed over and moments later Fasanmade found Windsor in the box, and he poked a shot goalwards, but Julian saved. The result put Chippenham Town just one point behind Bath City in 13th place, but the Romans have a game in-hand. Gary’s side will be looking to overtake them in the table and solidify a superb spot in the league table. In a season which has dramatic highs and lows, we are most certainly looking at the high’s at the moment.
Havant & Waterlooville, otherwise known as “The Hawks”, have spent the majority of the last ten seasons in the National League South, National League and Isthmian Premier and have enjoyed success in the top ten of the National League South table this season, but in their last 6 games, they have not picked up a single win, accumulating two defeats and four draws in that time, considering the fact that Havant have been sniffing around the play-offs spot in the early part of the 2022/23 season. The club are currently managed by Jamie Collins, the 38-year-old was appointed First Team manager on 10th March 2023, taking over from Paul Doswell who moved upstairs, taking on the Director of Football role.
Both sides have already met once this season at The Thornbury Surfacing Stadium and the result went in the favour of our hosts as they left Wiltshire with 3 points and a 3-0 victory on the road, Muhammadu Faal and James Roberts scoring two against Chippenham back in November 2022. Many supporters will remember last season heroics when Chippenham Town secured a place in the National League South play-offs for the first time in their history as they defeated Havant 2-0 in their backyard with Jordan Young scoring two to secure a trip to Dartford in the Play-off Eliminator a few days later during May 2022.
Ones to Watch
We have picked three players out of the Hawks’ side who will be ones to look out for on Saturday’s clash.
First is Muhammadu Faal, the 25-year-old forward who joined from Enfield Town and has netted 20 goals in 38 games this season and was one who scored in the reverse fixture at the earlier portion of the season so will be a dangerous player to watch out for. He has featured in 2841 minutes of football this season.
Another is James Roberts, the 26-year-old forward has scored 12 times in 40 appearances and has featured in 2993 minutes of football.
The final is 24-year-old forward Callum Kealy, the former Worthing man was a goal-machine at the start of the season and since his move to Havant, he’s netted just 1 in 12 games but don’t be surprised to see him involved a lot in Saturday’s game.
Chippenham will be happy to see the return of Craig Fasanmade who came off the bench during the second half of Monday’s win against Hampton & Richmond Borough and put in a good shift during the second half with plenty of chances on goal, especially towards the end of the game. There was also a return to action for Caine Bradbury who started in midfield on Monday and has recently being suffering from injury setbacks, so good to see him gain minutes back on the turf.
We may be without Spencer Hamilton and Eddie Jones for this Saturday’s clash with both players suffering injury during warm-ups on Friday and Monday respectively, we don’t know as yet how long they will be out for but we are hoping to see them back with the squad in the final two games of the season.
All eyes this week will be on Gary Horgan of course, and the news which was published earlier this week that he won the Vanarama National League South Manager of the Month Award, a quite remarkable achievement for Gaz, steering the side to a 15-game unbeaten streak in March and maintaining a mid-table position for the Bluebirds from an original 2nd from bottom table position at the start of March. Gary had this to say after receiving the award…
Yesterday’s team of the month award fell on the one-year anniversary of us getting together as a group and shows the result of a years’ worth of hard work and not just the last month of results. This is just reward for the staff, volunteers, and supporters but most importantly all credit to the players for putting together what is still an incredible run of resultsGary Horgan on winning the March Vanarama National League South Manager of the Month award
We of course send our congratulations to Gary and his management team for a superb run of form, and we hope it will continue going forward!
Back onto the weekend and if you are planning to make the trip to Havant, match tickets are available to purchase in-advance via our hosts’ ticket portal online but if you are unable to make the trip to Hampshire then be sure to tune into our Mixlr broadcast with Jamie Oleszynski bringing you LIVE Radio Match Commentary from 2:45pm onwards.