CHIPPENHAM Town let a two-goal lead slip to lose 3-2 away at Torquay United in the FA Trophy third round on Tuesday night.

The Bluebirds took the lead early on when a mix-up in the Gulls’ defence saw Alex Bray find Jordan Young, and he rounded goalkeeper Mark Halstead to find the net.

Midway through the first half, Chippenham doubled their advantage after a long ball from Young found Bray, who slammed home.

With Gary Horgan’s men coasting against their National League opponents, Torquay pulled a goal back before half-time when a Chippenham corner was pounced upon, and Will Goodwin finished off a lightning counter-attack.

Failing to deal with Torquay counter-attacks would ultimately end up being Chippenham’s Achilles heel, as two second-half goals from Stephen Wearne turned the game on its head.

After Harry Parsons missed a gilt-edged chance to force penalties in stoppage time, Horgan was left to rue the fact an excellent performance would pass by without reward.

He said: “We got ourselves 2-0 up and cruising in the game really, but then they caught us on the break to get back to 2-1.

“We had another couple of really good chances before half-time, and if we had gone in to half-time 3-1 or 4-1 ahead, it wouldn’t have flattered us. I don’t think I’d be lying if I said we were better than them.

“In the second half, where we had a lot of people who hadn’t played 90 a lot recently, and with them being full-time, I think it caught up with us a little bit. They twice caught us on the break in the second half, and ultimately ended up winning the game as a result.”

Despite a handful of key players missing, a side that Horgan admitted was “patched-up” travelled to Plainmoor in good spirits and hopeful of providing an upset.

And although Chippenham were not able to do it, Horgan was still incredibly proud of the performance produced by his team.

He said: “We went there with a patched-up side – we had Will Tizzard pull out mid-morning through illness and a couple of other injuries – and had to make three changes to the back four, but I was more than happy with the starting XI.

“But we definitely ran them close. To see a National League side trying to see out the last five or six minutes against us by keeping the ball in the corner, for me, that tells you everything you need to know in terms of how well we’ve played.

“Maybe we ran out of steam a little bit with the changes we had to make, but overall I couldn’t be happier with the efforts of the team.”