CHIPPENHAM Town manager Gary Horgan celebrated “a perfect weekend” after the Bluebirds beat Aveley 1-0 in National League South last Saturday.

Tyreke Johnson’s long-range goal proved to be the difference for Chippenham against the newly-promoted side on the opening day of the new season.

A much-changed Town team dominated for large periods of the game but were made to hang on in the closing stages as Aveley hunted an equaliser.

But a goal remained elusive for the visitors, and Chippenham could enjoy a rare opening-day victory.

Analysing the first three points of the 2023/24 campaign, Horgan said: “It was a good, tight game.

“I felt they started maybe a tiny bit brighter than us, but I thought we controlled the majority of the first half – certainly in possession – and scored a really good goal.

“The second half was pretty much the same, really. We controlled it for the first 35 minutes.

“And then the last 10 minutes, I felt we got a bit nervy – what with it only being 1-0 and it being the opening day.

“No matter how much you tell yourself it’s just another game, you know it’s the first game of the season and everybody wants to get some points on the board.

“To come away with a 1-0 win and a clean sheet from the first game, that’s a perfect weekend.”

Chippenham will hope to maintain their good start against two sides who are both fancied to compete for promotion come May.

First, Saturday sees the Bluebirds fly down to Hampshire for a clash with Havant and Waterlooville.

And three days later, Chippenham take on pre-season title favourites Torquay United at Plainmoor.

Horgan hopes the early confidence his side has garnered will help them achieve two more positive results against a pair of quality outfits.

The Chippenham manager said: “We’ve got two really tough games ahead.

“Havant will be looking to bounce back given that they were beaten in the first weekend. They’ll be back at home, so they’ll be looking to prove a point.

“By all accounts, they haven’t played particularly well so far, so they’ll be hoping to bounce back on Saturday.

“We’ll go into that one confident after our win and knowing we’ve got a half-decent record there.

“And then it’s straight into the thick of it on Tuesday against one of the title favourites. But they didn’t manage an opening-day win either.

“It’s two really tricky away games, but the aim will be to take points in both.”