CHIPPENHAM Town chief Mark Collier has urged his squad to stick together to turn the tide after both of their post-Christmas contests in National League South ended in narrow defeats.

The Bluebirds went down 2-0 at home to second-placed Dorking Wanderers on Saturday, having fallen 3-2 at local rivals Bath City on Boxing Day.

Chippenham have taken four points from five games in December and sit 18th in the league table.

Collier conceded he always felt his side would be up against it amid a tough run of games over the busy festive period but is determined to keep looking on the bright side.

“We lost both games over Christmas but there have been a lot of positives to come out from it,” said Collier.

“We are down to the bare bones, which is not ideal as you need strength in depth at this time of year.

“We knew these would be big, testing games, and it was always going to be tough Christmas period for us.

“We just need to hang in there and we have told the players not to feel sorry for themselves as no one else will.

“We are in some choppy waters but we need to make sure we stick together and come out the other side of it.”

Chippenham trailed Dorking 1-0 at the break on Saturday after an unfortunate own goal from Rhys Tyler.

Bluebirds keeper Will Puddy saved a penalty from Jason Prior early in the second half but Chippenham’s hopes of kicking on and rescuing a positive result were killed off when Tommy Richards scored a second goal for the visitors.

Dorking’s win at Hardenhuish Park was their fifth in a row in the league, and Collier felt his troops would always be the underdogs against the Surrey side.

“Dorking are a very good side. They have got some good players and also players with a lot of experience,” said Collier.

“They are financially very well backed with the players they have at their disposal and they came to us in top form as well – I think they are eight unbeaten with five straight wins too.

“They were always going to be a difficult nut to crack and that proved to be the case.

“I thought we were unfortunate to go behind but that is our luck at this moment in time.

“After that, we created a number of good chances and should have equalised in the second half.

“If we’d scored at that stage, then it looked like we could go on and win the game.

“However, as we are pushing on, they got a second goal and suddenly it was 2-0 and they could put numbers behind the ball and see the game out professionally.”

Chippenham return to action on New Year’s Day with the reverse fixture in their duel with near neighbours Bath at Hardenhuish Park.