MARK Collier was delighted with the character shown by his Chippenham Town players as they battled back to earn a point against St Albans City this afternoon.
The play-off chasing Saints took the lead at Hardenhuish Park through prolific striker John Frendo with just over ten minutes remaining but young winger Corey King came off the bench to tap home the equaliser in the 89th minute.
“It was a game we certainly didn't deserve to lose. I thought the application and desire of the players was outstanding and to go 1-0 down against a team that are 20-odd points above us was a bit of a kick in the teeth,” said Chippenham chief Collier.
“But we showed some great character to come back and fully deserved the draw. We're quite chuffed with what's gone on because it's easy to feel sorry for yourself when you're 1-0 down with ten minutes to go.
“They're a little bit disappointed we didn't get more – little incidents don't go your way sometimes and perhaps that made the difference.
“We're disappointed in the goal we conceded but St Albans are a big non-league club, with a big playing budget, so we're happy that we've got a point overall.
“Frendo was the golden boot winner for non-league last season so he's always going to make chances for himself and get on the end of things but other than the goal he scored, we kept him fairly quiet."
He added: “It's good to go in to a happy dressing room at the end of the game. There were some big performances out there and everyone has come to the party so credit to the players.
“But it's only a good point if we can take it in to the next game and have that amount of application and work rate.”
Although striker Lee Phillips completed 90 minutes, Collier was left to fret over the fitness of midfielder Iain Harvey, who tweaked his hamstring and had to be substituted just ten minutes in to his comeback from injury.
“We thought about starting him and we thought about not doing it but he'd come through two or three big training sessions and was fine,” said Collier.
“But when the adrenaline's cut in out there, he's had a little set-back with it but we've managed to get him straight off and hopefully with a week's rest, he'll be okay.”
Alan Griffin returns to the Chippenham squad for next Tuesday night's home clash with Arlesey Town after serving his one-match ban whilst defender Tyron Leigh could be back after missing the draw with St Albans with illness.
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