CHIPPENHAM Town manager Mark Collier admits there is no let-up in National League South but has been impressed by the way his side have applied themselves in the early stages of the new campaign.

Having won the Southern League Premier Division in emphatic style last season, there was always going to be a bedding-in period for the Bluebirds as they adapted to life at a higher level.

With wins like their away success at Bath City, the transition has gone smoother than could have been expected, but Saturday’s 2-2 draw at home to East Thurrock United showed that there can be no room for complacency.

Dave Pratt’s ninth-minute strike, followed by Will Richards’ second headed goal of the season put the hosts in command at the break.

But, despite being warned of remaining switched on for the second half, the visitors were back level within five minutes of the restart courtesy of two Lewis Smith goals to take a point back to Essex.

“It’s a learning curve for everybody at the club,” said Collier. “That’s right from the chairman down to the playing staff and the people who work at the ground.

“There are obviously some very good sides, a lot of quality in the division.

“It is a big step up but we have been competitive in every game but my remit is that we have to be competitive for 90 minutes. At this level, the minute you step off the pedal, teams can punish you.

“We have to make sure our game management is a little bit better. We talk about it but we have to make sure we carry that out on the pitch.

“I’m comfortable with the start we’ve made. We’ve played some decent football and been very competitive in every single game. However, we need to make sure we are competitive for the whole of the 90 minutes and that’s down to fitness, concentration and all the things that come together.”

After five games in the opening two weeks of the season - and five points along the way - Town will have had a full week to prepare for Saturday’s trip to bottom-three side Weston-super-Mare.

“We’ve got a full week of recovery, which is good news for myself and the players,” added Collier. “We’ll have a little break and then we’ll get some treatment into any of the players and look forward to the weekend.”