MATCH PREVIEW: Weston-super-Mare vs Chippenham Town | National League South | Tuesday 6th February 2024

Published: at 8:41pm

The Bluebirds will be looking for a response this Tuesday evening in the Vanarama National League South when Gary Horgan and his team make the relatively short trip to the seaside to take on the Seagulls, Weston-super-Mare.

With the two sides sitting right next to each other in the National League South Table and only ONE point separating the two sides, both Chippenham and Weston-super-Mare will be looking to this one as a potential must win game and with a hectic schedule on the horizon for both sides, what better way to kick it off than with a big win over a local rival.

Last Time Out

Last time out for the Bluebirds was a disappointing one. Heading to Tonbridge, a place that has never been a happy hunting ground for the Bluebirds, there was a quiet confidence in the camp buoyed by draws against Aveley and Torquay and a win in the previous game against Havant & Waterlooville.

With a few changes to the side, McClure, Mehew and Ed Williams all returning to the starting XI, the Bluebirds were out of the traps double quick and when a clever bit of interchange from Mehew and McClure saw the former strike left footed towards goal, only a great block by an Angels defender stopped Chippenham taking the lead inside the early minutes of the game. Tonbridge then had a huge chance when Chippenham stopper Will Henry’s loose clearance fell to Paris Lock. After beating everyone in a burgundy shirt, Lock then struck towards goal and Henry was able to atone for the earlier error with a great save to tip over the bar. Tonbridge then relentlessly put crosses into the box causing problems for the Bluebirds defence and the first warning sign came when a deep free kick saw Liam Vincent strike off the post before a block from Scott Wagstaff’s shot deflected past the post for a corner. The goal came when a shot from the edge of the box from Sean Shields was saved spectacularly by Henry but rather unfortunately for the keeper who had just pulled off a stunning save, the ball tipped onto the post fell to Kodi Lyons-Foster who has the easiest of jobs to tap home amidst the sea of hands claiming for offside. On second viewing it would seem that the Tonbridge defender was just onside when the shot came in and the goal rightly stood and the Angels were a goal to the good. Chippenham responded well immediately winning a corner through Tyreke Johnson and when Eddie Jones headed the ball back across goal from the resulting corner, it only needed a touch! Sadly the touch came from a Tonbridge defender. Tariq Hinds then found himself in the book for a cynical challenge on the half way line on the advancing Freddie Grant, something that he would later come to regret. More clever football from the Bluebirds saw another corner forced and only Scott Wagstaff’s block on the line prevented an equaliser when Freddie Grant rose highest to head goalwards. At the half, the Bluebirds were likely told to stay patient, keep tight and the opening will come.

Sadly for Chippenham, they were soon to be 2-0 down when a ball from Kodi Lyons-Foster into Sean Shields saw scorer become provider and Shields weaved past everyone in the penalty area and dispatched into the top right hand corner on 56 minutes. Changes were rung and Craig Fasanmade was introduced to the fold and it almost proved instant joy for the striker as he latched onto Caine Bradbury’s dinked ball but sadly for Fas, the defender recovered just as the trigger was about to be pulled. Tyreke Johnson then blazed over the top of the stand with a shot from the edge of the area. Another corner saw Dan Ellison off the bench head goalwards but against Wagstaff was in the way. Chippenham huffed and puffed right until the death and almost found a way back in when this fine, young, handsome writer started a move that almost culminated in a goal. As the ball deflected over the perimeter fencing, this quick thinking son of gun grabbed the ball and threw it delicately to the hands of Freddie Grant to start a quick corner routine which ended in Mehew slotting in McClure who just couldn’t force his shot past Jonathan Henly’s foot in the Tonbridge goal (Probably for the best, I would never have stopped talking about the assist). With time running out, Tonbridge were relieved to see the linesman’s flag go up when Jake Evans cross was headed home by Dan Ellison and it was to be the last action of a game where quite honestly, the only difference was they took their chances, we didn’t take ours and in a game where Chippenham had much of the ball and played good, attractive football. Sadly the scoreline would read 2-0 to the Angels and the Bluebirds would head home, empty handed.

After the game, Dan Blake caught up with the gaffer and Horgs stated that he was disappointed of course with the result but with no time to dwell on what has just gone with Weston-super-Mare lying in wait for them on Tuesday evening.

The Opposition

Formed in 1887, Weston-super-Mare, the Seagulls play at the Optima (Woodspring) Stadium carrying a capacity of 3,500. Managed by Scott Bartlett, the Seagulls find themselves in the National League South after winning the Southern Premier League last season at a canter with goals in particular from former Bluebird, Marlon Jackson proving pivotal in getting them to this level.

A level that Weston-super-Mare are all too familiar with, they are proving to be more than a match for most in the National League South and after a fantastic start, have slightly plateaued and find themselves sat in 16th place in the table a mere one place and one point above the Bluebirds. A win for either side could see them go into 14th position in the league and with the NLS tight from the playoffs down to the relegation spots, every point could be vital when we arrive on Tuesday night!

Countdown to kick-off






In recent times, the Head to Head record against the Seagulls reads well for the Bluebirds with 4 games in the National League South between 2017-2019 before the Seagulls relegation. During this time, Chippenham won TWO, Weston ONE and ONE draw between the two sides giving the Bluebirds a 50% win rate against the Seagulls and scoring 6 goals in the process, an average of 1.5 Goals Per Game. The last game between these two sides was at Weston in 2019 when a Nathaniel Jarvis goal gave Chippenham a 1-0 win, in a season that saw Chippenham all but condemn Weston-super-Mare to the Southern Premier League.

Of course, a long time has passed since that last fixture and indeed all of these games. However, if you are looking for a good omen, this definitely makes for good reading.

Familiar Faces

More than just a few Familiar Faces this weekend with the two sides sharing a geographic pool where a lot of current Chippenham and Weston-super-Mare will be going up against their former employers. Although sadly likely to miss out, Alex Bray spent time on loan at Weston-super-Mare earlier in his career and was a well loved player whilst at the Optima and of course now, spends his time flying up and down the wing for the Bluebirds.

Nathaniel Williams will know his way around as well after a loan spell at Weston whilst with Bristol City and I am sure he will be looking forward to this one after a recent run of games in the side.

Marlon Jackson will no doubt be looking forward to welcoming his former club to his new stomping ground after departing for the Seagulls only a few short seasons ago and becoming a bit of a cult hero at Woodspring Stadium.

With many a player over the years playing for both clubs, to name a few Danny Bailey, Marvin Brown, Ross Stearn, Jack Compton, Matt Groves, Dave Gilroy, Ashan Holgate and even Vincent Harper, the two clubs share a rich tapestry of players and management and will surely prove to be a fantastic local(ish) derby.

One to Watch

There are more than a few lads at Weston that could turn a game on it’s head and several that could be considered for this coveted One 2 Watch spot. But, we have decided that 9 league goals cannot be ignored and we are selecting striker Reuben Reid as our man.

With a decorated league career behind him that has taken him to places such as Plymouth, Wycombe, West Brom and Brentford to name a few, Reid has taken to life at Weston brilliantly as mentioned, scoring 9 times in the league this season and will no doubt require a careful eye from the Chippenham defenders if they are to stop it becoming more. A big physical presence up top he will also bring other players into the game and with midfielders like Opi Edwards, Jacob Jagger Cane and Rex Mannings all happy to take shots from distance, Chippenham won’t have much room to sit and allow Weston the ball.

Famous Faces

Famous Faces this week. We decided here at Blue Army Towers to cause a little friction. With many supporters having affinity for either Bristol City or Bristol Rovers across both Chippenham and Weston, it makes perfect sense to highlight two former legends of each club that played at Weston and see if we can’t start a mini debate between the Gas and the Ciderheads.

Starting with the blue half of Bristol. Former Rovers legend David ‘Boris’ Mehew played 222 games for the Gas in a career that lasted from 1985 to 1994! After he left Rovers, he went on a magical mystery tour of the non-League game in the area with spells at Bath City, Yate, Brislington, Forest Green, Paulton, Bitton, Clevedon and Bristol Manor Farm just to name a few! Of course, these days Boris can be spotted at most Chippenham games as among his lesser achievements, he is also the father of Chippenham midfielder, Tom Mehew (only joking Tommy!) and his brother Olly who himself plays at Merthyr after ironically spending last season with Weston-super-Mare the trio’s hometown!

For the red half of the City, Brian Tinnion is a name that will need little to no introduction. Making a whopping 458 appearances for the Cider Army between 1993 and 2005. A former Newcastle United and Bradford City player, Tinnion would be an icon at Ashton Gate being club captain, interim manager and a memorable player for many years and in 2005 after hanging up his boots at the top level, played a season for Weston-super-Mare until 2006 when he retired from playing. Nowadays, Tinnion is responsible for the next generation of young talent at Bristol City as head of academy at Ashton Gate, making him a very good person to give a hat tip to if you’re a club like Chippenham Town so if you’re reading Mr Tinnion, we think you’re great!

Bluebirds News

It would seem that this is going to prove a game too soon still for Aaron Amadi-Holloway however, there is a slight chance that he could be available for selection so keep everything crossed until Tuesday that Aaron can feature. Sadly, I don’t think Alex Bray will be back in time to face his former side, nor defender Luke Haines who is still awaiting results of a scan and we wish them all the best.

With changes being rung on Saturday, Horgan might again have to look to the depth of his squad to ensure it stays fresh and capable with Will King, Jake Evans, Tom Owen-Evans all getting decent rest minutes at the weekend and will all be vying to be involved. For Chippenham gaffer Gary Horgan, it will just be about getting a response from the weekend and adding a clinical edge to their exceptional ability to pass the ball around will no doubt be the cry from the bench as they strive for the 3 points.

For us Chippenham supporters, this is a chance to go back to Weston and see old friends for the first time since 2019. It is a massive shame of course that it’s not on a Saturday afternoon in the Summer in the warmer months but I am sure the game will be fantastic all the same and with so much on line, not just the local(ish) connotations.

The lads could really do with your support when they take to the field on Tuesday. Travelling away with the Bluebirds is a very unique feeling, a very us and them mentality at this level of football and when playing on foreign soil, the players draw such strength from that roar of their fans, that word of encouragement or just the presence of our fans in sight when running towards the goal! We need you as a club and we can never thank you enough for how important you are to us and our plans on and off the pitch! Hope to see as many of you down at Weston for a midweek drink, 90 minutes of football and hopefully 3 huge points!


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