CHIPPENHAM Town manager Mark Collier says the club is in ‘choppy waters’ after a 2-1 defeat to Eastbourne Borough in National League South at the weekend but has backed his team to sail back into good form in the near future.

A poor first-half showing on the sunshine coast was rectified by Will Richards’ second-half header, only for substitute Chris Zebroski to handle the ball inside the area in the 89th minute.

Boro’s Charlie Walker dispatched the penalty to send Collier’s side home with nothing to show for their efforts.

The Bluebirds boss was critical of his team’s display in the first half, but after a stern talk at the break, Collier felt Chippenham were well worth a point.

Collier said: “In the first half, we didn’t deserve to get anything from the game. We were too passive, and we maybe lacked a bit of personality as individuals.

“We spoke to the guys at half-time, and in the second half we were much, much better.

“Once we got our equaliser, I thought we would go on and win the game because we were on the front foot for long periods.

“However, we couldn’t find that elusive second goal and we gave away a penalty that just shouldn’t be happening, really.

“It’s an error by Chris Zebroski, which he’s apologised for, but that’s the way our luck is at the moment.

“Are we in choppy waters at the moment? Yes we are. But it’s nothing we’ve not experienced before and I’m sure we’ll be able to navigate our way through it and go again.”

Chippenham will hope to change the course of their form this weekend when travelling to in-form Havant & Waterlooville.

The hosts have won their last three, while Chippenham are winless in four National League South fixtures.

However, the Bluebirds’ recent form against promotion hopefuls has given Collier real belief that three points could be snatched against his tip for the title.

Collier said: “I know Wealdstone are flying at the top at the moment, but I’d still back Havant & Waterlooville to win the league.

“They’ve kept a lot of the players that played in the National League last year, and they’ve added to them as well from Sutton, where their very experienced manager has come from.

“To me, we’re going to the league favourites and maybe the title winners come April.

“We’ve got to go there at some point – we’ll go there as huge underdogs, I’m aware of that, but it’s a game that we’ll look forward to.”