MATCH PREVIEW: Weston-super-Mare vs Chippenham Town | National League South | Tuesday 9th April 2024

Published: at 9:21am

Matt Chappell previews our away game against Weston-super-Mare.

Last Time Out

It’s the start of a triple header of Vanarama National League South action for the Bluebirds this week, as they make the trip to the Optima Stadium to face off against Weston-super-Mare on Tuesday.

The Bluebirds enjoyed another win on the road this past Saturday, as they left Clarence Park Stadium (home of St Albans City FC) with 3 points in the bag, following a 1-0 victory against the Saints with Aaron Amadi-Holloway scoring the only goal of the game via a side footed strike past Michael Johnson, following an earlier corner for the Bluebirds on 12 minutes.

Despite the goal coming so early in the game, the game saw very few chances from the Bluebirds, however we of course can’t forget the performances from the defence to prevent St Albans City from getting a goal back. Dominic Hutchinson won the hosts a corner from which Jack James’ shot was blocked by Dan Ellison in the 22nd minute and Luke Haines cleared Sam Brown’s header off the line following a superb save from Will Henry to deny Dom Hutchinson a goal-scoring opportunity in the 57th minute of the second half to just name a few of the superb performances.

Gary Horgan praised the efforts of the side despite the circumstances with the majority of the squad suffering from illness in the camp, he caught up with Jamie Oleszynski with our Post-Match interview stating: “Probably our best win of the season, certainly given the circumstances around the day, everybody within the team, squad and the backroom staff have been ill for the past few days”. “They showed their character, the strength and depths to come to a side like St Albans and limit them to not many chances if at all any really.”

The Opposition

Weston-super-Mare or the Seagulls as mentioned play out of their Woodspring (Optima) Stadium, managed by Scott Bartlett and boasting a few former Bluebirds in their ranks, this was a side many had their eye on last season as they marched through the Southern Premier League as Champions to claim their place back in the National League South. The Seagulls are back at this level for the first time since 2019/2020 where astonishingly they suffered their ONLY relegation in 137 years of history before bouncing back up 4 years later to claim their spot.

The Seagulls currently find themselves 15th place in the league table on 52 points on the board, their recent 3 results have been 1 win, 1 draw and 1 loss respectively. Notably beating Taunton Town 4-0 at home back in March 2024 with goals from Bailey Kempster, Reuben Reid, Jordan Bastin and Josh Thomas, their last result was a 1-0 defeat to Braintree Town this past Saturday. Both sides have already met so far this season at #TheTSStadium when the sides faced off on the 5th March 2024 but the result went in the way of our hosts as Rex Mannings scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory for WSM.

One to Watch

If there’s one person we have to mention as a ‘One to Watch’ then it’s Reuben Reid of course, the 35-year-old former Oldham Athletic, Plymouth Argyle, FGR and Yeovil Town (just to name a few) forward has netted 11 times in 34 appearances so far this season, featuring in 2706 minutes of total football. He’s contributed 19% towards Goal Participation for WSM and has featured in 76% of the Starting XI’s issued.

Familiar Faces

With the local links between the two sides, there are going to be lots of lads facing off against former employers and teammates this Tuesday starting with the hosts. Before his release from Bristol City last season, midfielder James Morton was probably more famous for his stints against Chippenham with Bath City but actually played two games for the Bluebirds in 2017 making it his first time away from Bristol and even scored in one of those games.

Speaking of scoring, former Chippenham striker Marlon Jackson will be no doubt looking to stick one over on his old friends albeit not many left such is the turnaround at this level but Jackson was with the Bluebirds as recently as 2020/2021 where he scored 3 times in 15 games for the Town including a memorable acrobatic effort against Concord but unable to lock down a regular starting spot for Chippenham, Jackson switch to the Optima in 2021 and has gone on to be a huge part of their success with 26 goals across his 65 games for the Seagulls.

The Chippenham lads that will be returning to their old stomping ground are young centre back, Nathaniel Williams who played on loan with the Seagulls before he switched to the Bluebirds from Bristol City and of course Alex Bray who will be remembered very fondly by the WSM faithful after spending time with the club in 2019 scoring 3 goals in 10 games for the Seagulls. On the bench former Chippenham Town midfielder Scott Rogers is now the Assistant to Bartlett for the Seagulls and will no doubt be plotting the downfall of his former club.

Bluebirds News

As we mentioned earlier, the squad have to deal with a sickness bug around the camp with nearly everyone affected from last Monday but with a few days past since Saturday, hopefully the majority of the team have now fully recovered with the amount of games coming up.

Saturday saw Dan Ellison return to the side after being removed from the line-up when we faced Truro City a few weeks back, and he will certainly be ready to go as he was featured in the Vanarama National League South Team of the Week.

As for players out, Matt McClure has not been seen on the pitch the last few games but was spotted warming up with the squad on Saturday, and Tom Mehew is another who is looking to get back to full fitness, as we approach the final stretch of the 2023/24 season.

We of course, look forward to seeing you all join us at the Optima Stadium on Tuesday as we look to make it 7 unbeaten in the Vanarama National League South with a flurry of games very shortly on the horizon. Supporters are advised that tickets can only be purchased on the gate and aren’t available in-advance.

Adults: £14.00
Concessions: £10.00
U16’s: £4.50
Family Ticket: £28.00

And if you cannot make it to Somerset, then be sure to stay up-to-date on Mixlr with Dan Blake bringing you full Radio Match Commentary on Mixlr from 7:30pm (UK time). Be A Part Of It, join us and get behind the lads!


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