DESPITE upcoming opponents, Hungerford Town, dwelling at the foot of the National League South table, Chippenham Town will be presented with one of their toughest goal-scoring tests this term, according to Bluebirds manager Gary Horgan.

Chippenham are scheduled to return to action for the first time in a fortnight at the weekend, following four postponed home matches in a row due to unfavourable weather.

The Bluebirds come into the M4-corridor derby against Hungerford on the back of a four-game unbeaten run and are hopeful of moving further away from the relegation zone by making it five.

But Horgan’s men are up against a Hungerford side which has conceded the joint-10th fewest goals this season.

For that reason, the Chippenham manager says a victory for his team is far from a given.

Horgan said: “I don’t think there will be any needle, but it will be a really, really tough game, irrespective of league position. I’m not just saying that for effect.

“They’ve got one of the tightest defences in the league, and they’ve actually conceded fewer goals than some teams in the play-off positions.

“So they’re difficult to beat, they always have been, and they’re a tough side to play against.

“Danny [Robinson] always sets his sides up really well, and he’s done a fantastic job there over the past few years.”

While Hungerford’s rear-guard action is clearly something to be proud of, the Crusaders have badly struggled to score this term – netting just 19 times in 25 games.

The departure of Ryan Seager to Dorking Wanderers has had a significant effect on Hungerford – a problem Horgan is not unfamiliar with himself.

He said: “This year, they’ve had a tough year, mainly because they’ve had to replace Ryan Seager who scored 20-plus goals in the last couple of seasons.

“It’s difficult to replace someone like that, we’ve found that out ourselves. But we’re still expecting a tough game against a side which is similar to ourselves in terms of making a bit of a transition this year.

“But it will be a really tough game, and if we don’t work as hard as them then we’ll absolutely come unstuck.”