CHIPPENHAM Town chief Mark Collier felt his side did not get the reward their performance deserved at National League South promotion hopefuls Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday as they fell to an unlucky 2-1 defeat.

After a goalless first half, the Bluebirds were then forced to play the final 35 minutes as Elias Youssef was shown a straight red card.

Havant were the beneficiaries of the referee’s decisions again soon afterwards as they were awarded a penalty, which Danny Kedwell duly dispatched to break the deadlock.

Chippenham then hauled themselves level as substitute Karnell Chambers restored parity with 10 minutes to go.

However, the visitors were unable to hold on for a point as Christopher Paul struck a winner four minutes from time.

Collier was full of praise for his players after they went toe-to-toe with opponents chasing a place in the National League next season so was bitterly disappointed that they were left to travel home with nothing to show for their efforts.

“We were unlucky. That is as well as we have played for a long time,” said Collier.

“I am really disappointed for the players because the shift they put in for the shirt was outstanding against one of the big clubs in the division and a team who are probably expected to win the league with everything they have in place in terms of finance and backing.

“It was always going to be tough as we are not in great form, whereas Havant are in a good run of form.

“We were 1-0 down to a disputed penalty having just had a man sent off from a decision that could have gone either way.

“We managed to equalise but then we were undone from a late goal, which the lads thought might have been offside.

“Everything that could have gone against us went against us but the performance and application from everyone was top drawer.

“I think we maybe deserved more from the game than we got – and Havant were keen to point that out too afterwards.

“That doesn’t make it any easier to take but there were certainly a lot of good things to come out of the game.”

Chippenham go back on the road on Tuesday night as they are away at Maidstone United.