CHIPPENHAM Town were handed a stark reminder of their new surroundings as they suffered a 2-0 defeat away to Braintree Town.

During their first week in the National League South, manager Mark Collier had acclimatised his squad well, recording a 0-0 draw with Havant & Waterlooville on the opening day followed by a terrific 5-2 win at Bath City on Tuesday.

However, first-half strikes from Karl Oliyide and Phil Roberts condemned the Bluebirds to their first away defeat in an astonishing 264 days, with a 3-2 defeat to Cinderford Town on Tuesday November 22 being the last time they had lost on the road.

The visitors' strike duo of David Pratt and Andy Sandell both had to be hooked at half-time with shin and groin problems respectively, but Collier refused to be downbeat about the loss.

“We certainly didn’t reach the heights of the Bath City performance. Individually we were below-par and that led to a poor performance,” said the Chippenham chief.

“It was a little reality check for us. We are in a tough division.

“I’m still happy with the first week, the problem is we aren’t used to losing, we have always had good journeys home, so it was a quiet journey back.

“There are a lot of teams who are worse off than us and I always say to the players if we can’t win the game, draw it and if we can’t do that then be competitive.”

Collier’s troops have the chance to get back on track on Tuesday, when they welcome Poole Town to Hardenhuish Park.

The Chippenham manager is looking for a response from his side, who could be without a few key players for the fixture with Pratt, Sandell both nursing their respective injuries, while Will Richards and skipper Greg Tindle both have ankle problems.

“I’ve no concerns about them responding because they are a very resilient group. It is a learning curve for everybody,” added Collier.

“We have to get used to games like this we have to get used to losing football matches because that is what happens.

“We have two home games now and we will of course target to win all six points.

“Pratt got a bang on the outside of his shin, Sandell might be out for a week or 10 days so I think there is more chance he will be back next Saturday.

“If all of them are out then we are down to the bare bones of the squad. That is the reality of it but we are hopeful one or two come through.”