Champs are chipper despite defeat!

St Neots Town had no chance of ruining the promotion party at EVO-STIK League Southern champions Chippenham Town on Saturday despite ending up as surprise 2-1 winners at Hardenhuish Park.

On the day the Bluebirds celebrated promotion to the highest level in their history as EVO-STIK League Southern Premier Division champions, even the ending of a 22 game winning run stretching back to November couldn't dampen the spirits of well over a 1,000 fans or proud manager Mark Collier.

Speaking after his side's penultimate home game of the season before they collect the championship silverware next weekend when they host St Ives Town, the Bluebirds boss put the reverse in perspective after Leamington's 2-0 loss at Biggleswade Town on Good Friday meant they couldn't be caught at the top and were crowned as top flight champions without even kicking as a ball.

The Chippenham Town manager, who'd been watching Swindon Town's goalless League One draw with AFC Wimbledon at the County Ground when the news from Biggleswade confirmed his side's title triumph, said: "We're obviously disappointed [with the result] but you have to look at the overall picture, with the title and I am chuffed for everybody. You can see how much it meant to everybody here, to so many people at the club.

"When we calm down and settle down and realise what we have have done I think we should be very proud of ourselves. It's been a a great effort by everybody and everybody has worked their socks off, the team, the players, the lads in the backroom staff who do so much work."

Joking to the media that he'd just have a "few quiet drinks" on Saturday night, Collier added: "The next few days are for them and we go again on Monday against Frome and then next weekend we get the trophy and hopefully three points and that will end the season nicely."

Founded in 1873 and losing FA Vase finalists in 2000 when they lost 1-0 to Deal Town at Wembley, Chippenham Town will be playing at the highest level in their history next season in National League South after they confirmed their name on this season's EVO-STIK League Southern championsip trophies alongside Royston Town in Division One Central and Hereford FC in Division One South & West.

Images courtesy of @ChipTownFC/Twitter

Follow the EVO-STIK League Southern on Twitter at @SouthernLeague1

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