CHIPPENHAM Town manager Mark Collier concedes that his side must be ‘league savvy’ after seeing a two-goal lead slip away at home to East Thurrock United.

The hosts got off to the perfect start when Andy Sandell teamed up with David Pratt in the ninth minute, the latter curling his effort on goal into the bottom right corner.

The Bluebirds’ advantage was doubled in the 35th minute when Will Richards netted his second header of the campaign, however, a 10 minute period after the break cost the hosts all three National League points.

East Thurrock halved the deficit a minute after the re-start through Lewis Smith, before the lively winger netted his second just four minutes later to level the scoreline, which remained until the final whistle.

“We were outstanding in the first half, created chances and they showed little threat to us really,” said Collier.

“We had a good report on them and that certainly helped us when we got into a two-goal lead.

“I reminded the players that they were 2-0 down on Tuesday against Braintree and finished up winning 5-3, so we knew that they would come at us.

“Their wide left player, Lewis Smith, was an outstanding player for them and a little 10 minutes of poor concentration from us and suddenly it’s 2-2.

“That just shows the level we have come up because last year we would have got away with that.

“It’s a learning curve.

“It’s not down to one player, the back four or the goalkeeper, it’s all around the pitch.

“We’ve let people run off the back of us and at this level, when people get through, they get one chance and they finish.

“I think they have had three or four shots and two have hit the target and suddenly it’s 2-2.

“Then I was pleased with the resolve of my players because we were under the cosh a little bit and we’ve come fighting back and looked as though we could win it at the death.”

East Thurrock had only dropped two points before their visit to Wiltshire at the weekend, leaving Collier looking to the positives from the result, with the Bluebirds now 14th on five points.

“It’s been a tough week because the nine players had a tough evening against Poole,” he added.

“I’m not uncomfortable that we have drawn the game against one of the high flyers in the division currently.

“Obviously we would have liked to have won, but my saying is let’s come to the party and if we can’t win, let’s try to draw.

“It’s stopped a little rot and it’s another point towards our target.”