Coach accepts there is little chance of his side staying up
RICHIE Williams has admitted he already has half an eye on next season following Amersham & Chiltern’s latest frustrating loss.
For 70 minutes A&C looked set for just their second win of the campaign only for errors and dubious refereeing decisions to leave them on the wrong end of the scoreline once more. Coming on the heels of the last-gasp defeat to high-flying Hertford before Christmas, it means head coach Williams’ men have taken one point when 10 looked likely. The Weedon Lane side are 14 points adrift of third-frombottom Chichester so, while ever hopeful, Williams knows future goals may have to embrace relegation back to London One. “I think it is about other individual and team goals now,” said the coach. “We are realistic about the league position we are in, so it is about concentrating on ourselves and preparing for next season perhaps.
“Teams immediately above us could go on a 10-game losing run and there are 55 points still to play for, so you never know, but as winning was a habit for us last year, so losing has been one this year.
“We have the chance now to expose some of the 18 to 19-year-olds in our squad to life in the first XV and give them experience, so we’ll definitely get something out of this season, whether it is more wins or preparing youngsters for the future.”
Williams’ side led 12-11 at half-time thanks to tries from Lloyd Anderson and Jordan Scott, the former converted by Andy Fluker. Anderson should have been in under the posts again after a dominant start to the second half, but the pass was forward and the error proved crucial as the hosts edged ahead with a penalty before scoring two questionable tries in the last three minutes, the second being allowed to stand despite a clear knock-on.
Williams believed his side deserved far better, but admitted they contributed to their own downfall through missed opportunities.
“I never criticise referees, but there were two decisions at the end, one knock-on and one forward pass and you end up without even a bonus point,” he added. “But poor decision-making and a lack of self-belief, which comes from losing games, meant we left some tries and points out on the pitch.
Things won’t get any easier for A&C this weekend when they entertain leaders Tonbridge – a free-shot game as far as Williams is concerned.
“There will be no pressure on us as they are huge favourites. People are seeing us as an easy five points and maybe we can turn that into some motivation.”