The 1st XV slipped two places in the league table after yesterday's 26-23 defeat at Old Tonbridgians and now lie just four points off the two relegation places and "down among the dead men" in the words of a frustrated and disappointed Head Coach Barry Bridgman writes Brian Seeney

It was their 30th successive defeat away from home - the halfway stage of a third season of struggle is worryingly only two games away.

For the second successive week, Gos scored three tries and this time they came away with a losing bonus point.

But they should have come away with much more against a side who were there for the beating.

In the end the three point margin of defeat could be put down to pointless backchat to the referee, the excellent Benjie Ainsworth-Taylor.

In the 44th minute of the first half, having already shown he wouldn't stand for any nonsense, the Londoner marched Gos back 10 metres and the penalty became kickable. It duly was and gave Old Tonbridgians a 16-13 half-time lead. In the end the kick was their margin of victory.

Centre Wayne Dugan's 5th minute penalty was cancelled out four minutes later and then the first Old Tonbridgians converted try on 25 minutes was followed by a 30th minute penalty for 13-3.

In the space of two minutes Gos tries by full back Alex Heron and an unusual score by in-form wing Rory Penfold put the sides level on 13 apiece.

Fly half Sam Foster's chip and chase over the top of the home side's defence was followed by Foster booting the ball ahead and Heron was the beneficiary to score.

A Foster penalty on 58 minutes was sandwiched between a second and third try for Old Tonbridgians after 48 and 60 minutes. The third Gos try on 69 minutes by Sean Shepherd which Foster converted, was the end of the scoring.

"It is very frustrating and very disappointing to come here and lose because that (game) was for the winning," said Bridgman.

"It wasn't the plan to get here so late and have such a rushed warm-up but the players were warm and I just think we had more opportunity to score than we took.

"Every time we seemed to get back into the game we immediately turned around and let them back into the game. We took the pressure off them every single time.

OT HeronTry WEB

Alex Heron scores the first Gos try yesterday. Photo: Chris Roberts. More pictures in the Photo Gallery shortly.

"We scored then we gave away penalties immediately afterwards or gave away scrums or kicked dead or kicked into touch when we shouldn't have done.

"We just made far too many errors after scoring. Our lineout didn't function at all in the first half which was extremely disappointing and we let them have the upper hand with that and we weren't quick enough to get on the contact ball.

"When the ball went to ground we seemed to not want to go in. Rather than standing off which is a plan, we just didn't seem to be able to get there in time. We were very slow at ruck time.

"Having said that most of our tackling was good this week - we did slip off a few but mostly good and the scrum was pretty steady.

"But far too many penalties were given away at crucial times, letting them back into the game. I think we butchered one try and could have had a couple more if we had been aware of our surroundings.

"We chipped too much and tried to kick over the top of their line too much.

"We are down among the dead men again and we really do need people to make the effort to come training. We are not going to put this right in one or two training sessions. It's got to be a concerted effort for weeks by those who want to take part.

"It won't get better until the end of the season unless we do that. It will only get worse.

"If people decide they aren't going to come (to training) and don't want to be bothered then it will only be worse. Everybody has got to work hard at it - coaches and players.

"We are playing for spells of three or four minutes then are out of it for 10 minutes or so. Most of the pressure (we were under) was self-imposed pressure trying to do things we shouldn't be doing or are not capable of doing.

"I thought the referee today was the best referee we have had all season by a country mile. He let both sides play rugby and didn't stop the game unnecessarily and tried to let the game flow. But unfortunately we couldn't sustain anything."

Gos have a second round Intermediate Cup game next Saturday (2pm) at home to Farnham and four training sessions before they resume league action at home to London Exiles who are fourth in the London 2 South West table.

A home win against the Exiles is much needed as Gos lead next to bottom Eastleigh by four points and bottom side Effingham & Leatherhead by six points.

Both those sides below Gos will host Gos in December. It will be a crucial month and will really test the mettle of both Bridgman and his players...

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