CHIPPENHAM Town manager Mark Collier called the club’s FA Cup first round draw at home to League Two side Northampton Town ‘perfect’.

The Bluebirds will welcome Keith Curle’s outfit to Hardenhuish Park over the weekend of November 9-10 as the world’s oldest cup competition begins its main section.

Chippenham have already played five ties to reach this stage, despite entering the cup at the second-qualifying round.

Collier’s men came through replays against Southern League Division One side Cirencester Town and National League South rivals Slough Town before dispatching Isthmian League outfit Whyteleaf in more straightforward circumstances.

Now in the first round proper for only the third time in their 146-year history, Collier is determined his side make the most of their chance.

He said: “The first thing I wanted was a home draw, I think we deserve that, and to get a league club too makes it even better.

“I didn’t really want to be playing anyone in our league or the National League North, so to get a league club at home is perfect.

“It’s a perfect opportunity to showcase ourselves as a football club – I’m pleased for the directors and the fan base and of course the players.

“They have all deserved it after the last couple of years – we were a little unfortunate to miss out last year – so it’s a good draw and one for us to look forward to.”

The Bluebirds chief is under no illusions as to how difficult the challenge of defeating their football league rivals will be, admitting they are likely to need ‘the bounce of the ball’ to go their way if Chippenham are to make the second round for the first time ever.

Despite that, Collier says his players will leave nothing on the pitch as they seek a place in Chippenham history.

He said: “We would have to play very, very well (to win).

“We would have to have the bounce of the ball go our way and a bit of luck that sometimes comes with an FA Cup tie, and they would have to have a bit of an off-day.

“They’re a football league side, so they’re full of experience, they’re full of good players too.

“We’ll be huge underdogs in the game, but underdogs do win football matches.

“We’ll look forward to it, we’ll embrace the challenge and we’ll give it everything we’ve got.”

Tickets are expected to sell out quickly for the first-round cup tie as around 3,000 fans cram into the old-school non-league ground, hoping to witness a ‘giant killing’ in north-west Wiltshire.

And the Chippenham manager knows how important a partisan crowd might be to making that happen.

Collier said: “I’d like to send out a plea to the town to come down and get behind these players because they’ve put Chippenham Town on the map in a big way over the last couple of years.

“We know how competitive it is at this level, but we’ve managed to establish ourselves a little bit, and now we’ve gone national with this little FA Cup run.

“Hopefully we can get a big crowd and a big sea of blue around the place to help the players give everything they can to get a positive result.”