MARK Collier admitted a heavy schedule coupled with injury problems cost his Chippenham Town side points on Monday night at Chelmsford City as they slipped to their seventh league defeat of the season.

Tom Wraight scored on the stroke of half-time to earn the hosts all three league points and promote them into the play-off frame, while Chippenham remain mid-table having secured 23 points from their first 16 games.

While the Bluebirds’ battling capabilities and tenacity impressed Collier, the Chippenham boss couldn’t help but feel a touch frustrated by the result – particularly giving the timing of Chelmsford’s first and only goal.

He said: “There’s a big clock at the ground, and you look at it and think ‘we’re nearly at half-time’.

“Being 0-0 at half time always sets you up nicely for the second half – we know games change after half-time

“But we conceded quite a sloppy goal in truth. He (Tom Wraight) mis-hit the ball, which made it difficult for the goalkeeper (Brad House) to save.

“We got ourselves on the front foot in the second half and created a couple of chances. We hit the post, as we have done in the last three of four games.

“Things just haven’t gone our way. But it was a decent game to watch for the neutral.

“Both teams had a go at each other, and it always looked as though one goal was going to be the difference.

“Chelmsford managed to nick it. We’re disappointed and it doesn’t help our cause – we’ve played eight games in 27 days.”

Injuries to striker Nick McCootie and midfielder Dean Evans have done little to help Collier’s cause as he continues to juggle a depleted squad ahead of this weekend’s trip to St Albans City.

Although McCootie and Evans could return this weekend, dependant on a midweek training session, Collier will be without Callum Gunner – who is suspended following his red card against Woking on Saturday.

“There’s been a lot of high intensity football played, and with our injury problems we’ve just not been able to freshen and rotate the squad how we would like to,” admitted Collier.

“We’ve had to leave players out on the pitch when they’ve played every minute of every game. We’d like to take players off, but with the way our injuries are, we haven’t been able to do that.

“We’ll look forward to going again, but the league is so tight.

“Chelmsford have gone from 14th to the play-off frame because of their form.

“There was a carrot for us on Monday – if we won we would’ve been in the play-off places.

“We’re aware that travelling to Chelmsford on a Monday night will make for a difficult game, though. We’ve had lots of games in a short space of time.

“Once players come off that injury list then we can start to freshen things up – which will hopefully lead to points.”