NATHAN Rudge was forced to watch the horror unfold from the stands as the Bluebirds suffered a humilating defeat to Bideford last weekend.

The Chippenham chief was serving the first of a two-game touchline ban for his part in a flare-up at the end of last November’s 0-0 draw at Barwell.

That left assistant Richard Fey to head matters from the dugout but he was powerless to prevent his side’s capitulation at Hardenhuish Park.

Despite a day to forget, Fey is keen to stress that he and Rudge are still focused on rebuilding Chippenham.

“There was only one word to describe Saturday and that was embarassing,” said Fey.

“They had eight shots and scored seven of them. Myself and Nath had loads of messages after the game but that doesn’t get you points.

“We still don’t want people to forget that we’re in a transition period – the club is changing and so is the first team. We’re still bringing in our own players and trying to build for the future.

“We’re only 30-odd games into our first season in charge and, no matter what people say, we’re on a shoestring budget.

“The club has been stuck in the Southern League and given bigger budgets to four or five managers in the past.

“I won’t argue about the fact that we haven’t won in nine and that we need to improve but we know that things can change very quickly in football.”

A mistake from Bluebirds’ goalie Ben John allowed Kevin Squire to net Bideford’s opener before Aaron Harper-Penman and Matty Bye scored before half-time.

Tom Knighton pulled a goal back but Sean Downing almost instantly restored the visitors’ three-goal lead.

Chippenham’s Adie Harris was shown a second yellow for a late tackle on Matt Andrew and Bideford ran riot, with Downing, Andrew and Squire rounding off the scoring.