CHIPPENHAM Town boss Mark Collier believes Saturday's 1-1 draw with National League South high-flyers Braintree Town was just the tonic required for the Bluebirds to put a troubled spell behind them.

Collier's men made a brilliant start to the contest at Hardenhuish Park as new signing Jack Jackson thrashed home the opener inside the opening seconds and although Reece Grant equalised less than 10 minutes later, the home side eked out a draw on merit against one of the favourites for promotion.

Town had lost their previous four league matches stretching back to early November, while Collier's assistant Tom Jones departed the club with Gary Horgan becoming head coach in a backroom reshuffle prompted by chairman Neil Blackmore.

With a trip to Poole Town on Tuesday night followed by leaders Dartford to come at Hardenhuish Park next weekend, the manager reckons Saturday's point was just the ticket.

"We were playing up against a very good side, I think one of the best sides, if not the best side, we have played this season,” said Collier.

"They were very good going forward, with lots of flexibility in their rotation and we were under the cosh. They've had lots of possession but they didn't really create any clear chances as such.

"We got a great start with a fantastic goal from Jake Jackson, who has smashed it in from a great little pass from Andy Sandell.

"Then we made another individual error that cost us a goal. A little bounce of the ball went wrong and we didn’t got it back to the keeper (Jared Thompson).

"But the rest of the half was fairly even and then in the second half, they came on quite strong but we were always a threat going forward, with three very good strikers on the pitch at the same time.

"We defended admirably and changed the formation a little bit for the last 15 and we saw out a point.”

Braintree had the bulk of the play after the early flurry but Collier added: “I said to the lads that it might be only one point but in the bigger scheme of things, it's a very big point.

"You fear the worst. We were playing one of the top sides in the division, one that expects to be in the top two or three come the end of the season. An experienced side with good confidence-level players and we went toe-to-toe with them and that's pleasing.

"We need to back that up because that was a good point on the back of a couple of difficult weeks.”

Collier has recruited Jackson and fellow frontman Nick McCootie from Bath City since Christmas and was pleased with the way his new strikers went, alongside the experienced head of Andy Sandell.

"Jackson scored a fantastic goal and that will only give him more confidence, so that's particularly pleasing,” added Collier.

"Nick McCootie has not had a full 90 minutes for a long time. He was in and out of the Bath squad, so he got 90 minutes under his belt, which will stand him in good stead.

"He's a threat, he looks a good player and we know he will only get better.''

Midfielder Alex Ferguson was withdrawn with a slight back problem, while Darren Mullings' suspension has concluded but he has been hit by illness and he could miss the Poole trip.

Defender Will Richards is expected back in around a week.