Old Albanian know importance of away games in crucial month for the club

OAs head coach James Shanahan. Photo: DAVID BUXTON

OAs head coach James Shanahan. Photo: DAVID BUXTON - Credit: David Buxton

It has been a satisfactory start to the season so far for the Old Albanian club who currently lie third in the National Two South League table, a point behind Taunton and two behind Cambridge.

According to the statistics, OAs have the meanest defence in the division, conceding just 134 points so far and have the best points difference.

Only Clifton have scored more points; Albanians are second, just twenty behind.

This Saturday the team travel to Dorking and, after a week’s rest, will be attempting to extend their good record.

The two glitches so far this year, a draw with Southend and a narrow defeat by old friends Cambridge, have both taken place away from home so every visit into opposition territory will generate a certain amount of concern.

Head Coach James Shanahan remembers the last visit to the Surrey club.

He said: “I think it was four years ago and the weather was not at all kind to either side. We came back with the win but I don’t believe there were more than one or two points in it.

Most Read

“Dorking were a mite unlucky last season to lose out for the playoff spot and I believe they have suffered some key injuries so far this year.

“However they should now be up to full strength and let’s not forget that they did turn over Bishops Stortford a few weeks ago.

“We will have to be on top of our game and, once again discipline, precision will be the things we must concentrate on most.”

Prolific try scorer Mike Allan will probably be resting an ankle this week and Oliver Cooper-Millar has a shoulder issue but every one else seems fine so far according to reports.

“Charlie Hughes and Andrew Daish are now back in the frame and what parts they play in this match will be decided on Thursday”, added the coach.

November is a crucial month for the Woollams outfit.

They entertain mighty Taunton on the 21st, a fixture sandwiched between trips to Dorking, Canterbury and Worthing.

If Albanians are to challenge for the top they must ensure the game plan is rigidly stuck to.