CHIPPENHAM Town boss Mark Collier is not letting Tuesday night’s last-gasp defeat to Poole Town, as his side finished with nine men, create a dark cloud over Hardenhuish Park.

Having made a dream start to life in National League South, claiming a draw against Havant & Waterlooville on the opening day before hammering local rivals Bath City three days later, the Bluebirds have slipped off track in the last week.

Having fallen to their first defeat against Braintree Town last Saturday, Chippenham followed it up with a 1-0 loss at home to Poole.

Despite being reduced to nine men with less than 70 minutes on the clock, debutant Mike Jones being sent off for a case of mistaken identity, following John Beeden down the tunnel, who was shown a straight red shortly before half time, Collier’s side were on level terms until deep into five minutes of stoppage time, when Stephen Devlin struck for the south coast side.

That has left Collier looking for the positives and he was full of praise for the application from his entire squad in difficult circumstances.

“Beeden has been sent off just before half time. The referee has said he has gone in out of control, his feet are off the ground but Beeds is stood up when he has made the tackle,” he said.

“We were quite comfortable with 10 men, we’d made a couple of chances and Greg Tindle had hit the crossbar.

“Then we had the second sending off with 25 minutes to go, when you take into account the stoppage time, and coped admirably.

“The second one is clearly mistaken identity and we’ve got decent video coverage of that now.

“Mike is a little disturbed about that, as you can imagine.

“He was making his debut, had a solid game, a very competent performance and he has earned himself an early shower for something he has had nothing to do with.

“We’ve conceded late on and it was a bitter pill to swallow.

“I felt sorry for the lads afterwards because they had given absolutely everything for the badge and that is what we asked from them and it is a game we didn’t deserve to lose.”

Chippenham now host East Thurrock United on Saturday, and despite being without Beeden, the possible return of influential defender Will Richards will mean Collier won’t be looking back at the transfer market.

“I don’t want anybody coming in on Saturday with any miserable faces because there is absolutely no reason to be down in the dumps about it,” he added.

“Hopefully we can get back on track. Hopefully Will Richards will be back, he’s had a knock on the ankle.

“Andy Sandell (striker) could be back as well and we still had a fairly competitive bench on Tuesday night.

“We’re okay on that front and, like any club, you need your key players on the pitch.”