CHIPPENHAM Town manager Mark Collier was ‘chuffed to bits’ with his side’s late equaliser at Concord Rangers as the Bluebirds scored in injury time to draw 1-1 in National League South.

After an uneventful first half, Concord’s Alex Wall was sent off early in the second period before the home side hit the front shortly afterwards following a spectacular 25-yard effort from Sam Blackman.

Chippenham tried to make their man advantage count and got their just reward deep into injury time as James Guthrie scored to snatch a point, consequently ending the Bluebirds’ two-game losing run.

Despite the opposition having 10 men for a large percentage of the second half, Collier said his side should be proud of their efforts and has called on them now to take that resilience on through the Christmas period.

He said: “I think it was a fair result, a fair reflection. We certainly had the better of the chances in the first half and I felt we were unlucky not to go in at half-time with the lead.

“Saying that, we’ve defended quite well too, and they could have gone in front in the second half if not for a good save by our goalkeeper.

“Then the striker has been sent off for them midway through the second half and they’ve scored straight after.

“It was knocked down after a free-kick and their lad has smashed one in from 25 yards. I think once we’ve conceded, we’ve gone and felt a little bit sorry for ourselves, but we came back and showed some good character to get that late equaliser.

“We’re chuffed to bits with a point considering we lost the last couple of league games and Concord have got the best home record in the league, so it’s a very difficult place to come and over the course of the season, I think it could be a big point for us.”

Collier believes his side can only get stronger now they are welcoming key players back and is looking forward to the Bluebirds testing themselves against tough opposition in the next few games.

He said: “We asked for a clean sheet and we asked them to be very competitive and do all the ugly things well.

“We’d lost two league games on the spin and we were aware we were missing some key personnel, so it was good to have some of them back.

“We’ve gone to Concord in not great form but there was a certain resilience about us today, so I’m chuffed to bits that we’ve managed to get something from the game and it sets us up nicely for the rest of the Christmas period.”