A4 Derby Part I Match Preview

City make the short trip up the A4 on Boxing Day to meet local rivals Chippenham Town in what is always a much anticipated fixture for both sets of supporters.

While The Bluebirds sit in 10th position with 25 points from their 18 matches, they would be a lot nearer the top of the table if it wasn’t for their inconsistent home form.

Back in the Autumn they suffered a sequence of four consecutive defeats at Hardenhuish, including losses to struggling Chelmsford, Welling and Hemel Hempstead. And any hopes of success in the knock out competitions were dashed by shock home defeats to Hastings in the FA Cup and to Uxbridge in the Trophy.

However the last two league matches there have seen comprehensive victories, 3-0 against Hemel and, in perhaps Chippenham’s result of the season so far, a 4-1 humbling of Dorking Wanderers.

These have contributed towards The Bluebirds sitting at the top of the League’s form table for the last six matches.

City’s record at this ground probably surpasses that of any other of our rivals’ this season and in our nine visits in the League since the first in 2002 we have picked up five wins and three draws.

The most recent was exactly 12 months ago when Covid restricted the crowd to just 518 who witnessed a closely fought and controversial 1-1 draw with Freddie Grant’s equaliser cancelling out an own goal from Jack Batten.

One of the features of these local derbies is to catch up with former City players who have moved to Chippenham. While the likes of Ross Stearn and George Rigg no longer wear the blue shirts, the likes of Adam Mann, Danny Greenslade and Will Henry are likely to be facing their previous club on Sunday.

This will be the first visit to Hardenhuish Park for most City supporters since New Year’s Day 2020 and since then the new Bluebirds Bar has been opened.

Tickets can be bought in advance of the match from the Chippenham website.

The fixture should attract one of our largest away followings of the season with the majority probably making the thirteen mile journey by car as there is no train service on Boxing Day. The Supporters Club will be running a coach and details can be found here.