‘TOO many players underperformed’ – that was the primary takeaway for Chippenham Town manager Mark Collier after he saw his side lose 1-0 at home to Oxford City on Saturday.

Chippenham started brightly but were nearly caught out at the back as Will Puddy had to be at his best to deny Oxford an early goal.

The Bluebirds were given an opportunity to take the lead midway through the first half as Nat Jarvis was brought down in the area – the striker stood up to take the penalty but could only hit the bar instead of the net and the opportunity went begging.

Chippenham were made to pay for their wastefulness early on in the second half when Kabongo Tshimanga put the visitors in front and with Town unable to find a way through, Collier and his men were left frustrated.

The Town chief was disappointed at his side’s overall showing, but felt it was simply a bad day at the office and has backed his players to recover from the defeat quickly.

Collier said: “It was almost like an end of season game really and we’re disappointed with that because we’ve put ourselves in a decent position (in the league).

“We’ve underperformed today and there’s no excuse for it. We’ve had too many players that have underperformed.

“Due to the nature of the game, it always seemed like it would be a 1-0 type of game and they’ve managed to get that vital goal and then they were able to sit in and be difficult to break down, so credit to them for that.

“We’ve created a few decent chances, we’ve had loads of corners and free-kicks, but we haven’t been able to find that elusive goal, which hasn’t been like us recently because we always seem to score.

“We’re disappointed on that front – it was a bad day at the office and one that we need to try and overcome as quickly as possible.”

Prior to Saturday’s defeat, Chippenham had only been on the losing side once in their last seven games.

As a result, Collier said there is no need to overreact to such a defeat and as long as his players raise their performance levels next time out, there is no reason why they cannot return to winning ways against Woking.

He said: “We’ve had poor performances in the past and at this level if you do that then you will lose.

“We’re not any bigger than any other club, we’ve underperformed, we know why we’ve lost, so we just need to take our medicine and move on.

“There’s no real reason for the loss today, I’m not knocking the lads’ endeavour and effort because they all wanted to win, but we’ve all underperformed as individuals, so we need to just take it on the chin and move on.”