OAs beat relegation rivals Cinderford
- Credit: Archant
Old Albanians coach Andy Holloway lauded his side’s resilience after their crucial 20-7 home win against relegation rivals Cinderford.
Second half tries from captain Billy Johnson and Dom Regan and 10 points from the boot of the metronomic Dan Watt denied fellow league strugglers Cinderford a losing bonus point.
OAs remain fourth from bottom in National League One but are now six points clear of safety.
“Winning today’s game was everything and the fact that they didn’t get a point either was massive for us,” said Holloway.
“Our set piece laid the platform for the victory today, along with the kicking of Watt and that allowed our dangerous runners to come to the fore.”
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The lacklustre hosts were 7-0 down at half time after Leo Fielding capitalised on some errant OAs play but 20 second-half points ensured a comfortable win.
“We made hard work due to our first half performance. We didn’t execute and we overplayed too much and the first score came from our errors,” said Holloway.
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“The message at half time was to implement our game plan and carry out instructions effectively like we should have done in the first half. We kicked well and our defence was excellent throughout.”
The home side made an ideal start to the second half thanks to two penalties from fly half Watt but Holloway’s side were finding it difficult to break down the away side’s resolute defence.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man, cometh the new England Counties captain Johnson, who produced a moment of inspiration with a sidestep Merlin the Magician would have been proud of, bamboozling the Foresters full-back to score a superb try.
Man of the match Andy Berry, who could run through a barn door, bulldozed his way to the line and although he was held up just short of the line, the irrepressible Regan touched down to secure the win.
“Their resilience has been brilliant. We are a really good team when we apply ourselves but we need to do that for more than 30 minutes like we did today,” beamed Holloway.
OAs team sheet: (1) Charlie Hughes (2) Brett McNamee (3) Andy Berry (4) Billy Johnson (c) (5) Ross Hamilton (6) Ollie Cooper-Millar (7) Nick Stevens (8) Sam Lunnon (9) Jordi Pasqualin (10) Dan Watt (11) Mike Allan (12) Dom Regan (13) Jimmy Speirs (14) Ollie Marchon (15) Richard Gregg. Subs: 16) Matt Brooks (17) Biyi Alo (18) Jon Phillips (19) Jack Daly (20) Will Hague-Blundy
Cinderford: (1) Jack Cosgrove (2) Luke Cole (3) Chris Bundy (4) Roger Birkin (5) Shay Kerry (6) George Mills (7) Marcus Brown (8) George Evans (9) Clive Stuart-Smith (10) James Moffat (11) Perry Humphreys (12) Jack Adams (13) Leo Fielding (14) Stefan Hawley (15) Mike Wilcox. Subs: 16) Jake Caulfield (17) Sam Wilkes (18) Dan Fry (19) Danny Pointon (20) Sam Hanks