CHIPPENHAM Town followed up a 3-0 win away at Concord Rangers at the weekend with a 5-2 defeat to promotion hopefuls Ebbsfleet United at home on Tuesday night.

After goals from Will Richards and Marlon Jackson – combined with a late Ross Stearn penalty – handed the Bluebirds all three points on Saturday, Mike Cook’s men were brought down to the earth with a bump in midweek.

Greg Cundle and Dominic Poleon put Ebbsfleet in the driving seat, only for Joe Hanks to pull a goal back before the break.

Poleon went on to complete his hat-trick for Ebbsfleet before Kieran Parselle reduced the deficit with 20 minutes to play. But it was not to be for Chippenham as Jack Paxman completed the victory in the 83rd minute.

Reacting to the latter of the two games, Chippenham boss Cook said it was always a tough ask for his boys to get the better of a side who employ several ex-EFL players.

Cook said: “We were a little bit beaten up, but it was just down to the fact that they were miles better than us. They absolutely played us off the park.

“Sometimes when you’re sat there, you’re thinking: “even if we had our full strength team out, we wouldn’t have got anywhere near them”, if I’m being brutally honest.

“They’ll definitely be there or there about come the end of the season, I have no doubt. So in the grand scheme of things, it’s no embarrassment to lose to Ebbsfleet because they should be beating us by four or five anyway with the squad and the money that we’ve got.”

Hoping to bounce back quickly, Chippenham welcome Isthmian League side Hastings United in the third round of FA Cup qualifying on Saturday.

Cook said the FA Cup is never straightforward, but is confident his team can progress to round four if they apply themselves properly.

He said: “What I’ve seen of Hastings, they look fit and strong. They’ve got a bit of pace, and they seem to have a good left winger. We’ll do our due diligence on them and try to come up with a plan to combat their strengths and weaknesses.

“It’s much better to be playing a team from a couple of leagues below rather than above, and you’d hope with the quality that we’ve got that it makes this game a bit less of a challenge for us.

“Having said that, we all know what the FA Cup is like - there are surprises in every round. We hope this isn’t going to be a banana skin.”