HAVING already sealed their promotion to the National League, Chippenham Town were looking to host a promotion party at Hardenhuish Park.

But it wasn’t to be as Mark Collier saw his side lose 2-1 at home to strugglers St Neots Town who brought an end to Chippenham’s 23-match unbeaten run.

The Bluebirds were handed the championship when title rivals Leamington failed to win their game against Biggleswade Town on Good Friday.

But that wasn’t the case from the offset as the home side took a leisurely approach to the opening 45 minutes. The slow start took its toll when St Neots took a surprise lead with just 10 minutes on the clock.

Jevani Brown was the man to put a dampener on the atmosphere when he latched onto a hopeful long ball before chipping goalkeeper Darren Chitty.

Not long after, St Neots almost made it two. Midfielder Lee Clarke, who had been a constant influence on proceedings, saw his shot from distance whistle past the post in the 21st minute.

From here the game seemed to peter out into a rather flat affair as Chippenham desperately tried to get a foot hold in the game.

Captain Greg Tindle came closest for Collier’s troops when his looping header landed on the roof of the net from Jake Andrews’ delivery.

The second-half wasn’t much better for the Bluebirds. Four minutes after the restart Chitty came racing out of the block to collide with Brown.

As a result the referee awarded the visitors a penalty, while Chitty needed a substantial amount of treatment.

The goalkeeper recovered but was unable to prevent Brown from doubling his tally as he slotted the ball past Chippenham stopper.

This prompted the Chiippenham boss to reshuffle his pack as he introduced Matt Jones Gary Horgan to the game at the expense of Nuno Felix and Rhys Baggridge.

The change almost had the immediate effect Collier would have craved when Jones jumped highest but could only head his effort into Alex Archer’s arms.

Two nearly became three when a loose ball fell into the path of Brown who was denied by the legs of Chitty.

However at the other end Chippenham were able to pull one back when Ferguson’s scruffy effort pegged them back to within one.

Collier then made his final change for Chippenham as Michael Pook came on for Dan Bowman, allowing defender Will Richards to try his luck in front of goal.

The former almost made the perfect start to his outing when the former Swindon Town midfielder’s volley was palmed away by Archer as the hosts began to turn the screw.

The home-side were unable to make the most of the momentum as the game faded along with Chippenham’s hopes of three points.

Team: Here is your team for today's game | Chitty, Bowman, Felix, Tindle (c), Baggeridge, Richards, Ferguson, Smith, Pratt, Andrews and Guthrie.

In the 90th minute the Bluebirds had the perfect chance to snatch a point as Jones’ corner found Ferguson who could only head over from close range.

Subs: Matt Jones (on for Felix 60), Michael Pook, Gary Horgan on for Baggridge 60), Jon Beeden, Chris Allen

Referee: Stephen Oakley, Alan Overthrow, Graham Pugh

Attendance 1146