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Connors frustrated as Eton start slowly and lose again

PUBLISHED: 09:00 05 February 2016

Eton Manor's Pete Bicknell scores a try against Chichester (pic: Martin Pearl)

Eton Manor's Pete Bicknell scores a try against Chichester (pic: Martin Pearl)

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Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors (pic: Martin Pearl).Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors (pic: Martin Pearl).

Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors admitted he was very disappointed with their display against Chichester in National League Three South.

Manor suffered an 18th defeat of the campaign at the New Wilderness, going down 29-14.

It was a frustrating day at the office for the Essex outfit as they failed to build on the encouraging display they put in against London Irish Wild Geese a week earlier.

Manor were hoping to pick up a bonus point from the encounter despite having some key first-team players missing.

Connors said: “We made a few unforced errors and it gifted them a couple of tries. We struggled to get back into it after that, but I don’t think the scoreline reflected the evenness of the sides.

“They were able to score a few in the first 20 minutes and that made the difference in the end, it was a frustrating day for us.”

Manor started poorly and found themselves 14-0 down midway through the first half before Corrado Martelletti crossed and Reece Reed kicked the extras.

But another try for Chichester just before the break made it 19-7 to the visitors at the interval.

Chichester built on their lead, before Pete Bicknell reduced the arrears by getting a second Manor try, but it was too little, too late for the home side.

And Connors felt a sloppy start was key to the loss, despite them coming back strongly, adding: “I was pretty disappointed because we were against a side that I didn’t think were very good.

“We didn’t come out of the blocks like we had done at London Irish, we competed really well in the first 15 minutes against them, but on Saturday we didn’t.”

Manor now have a weekend off as the Six Nations starts before returning to action at Gravesend on February 13.

The Kent side have struggled this season and find themselves second bottom in the table.

They have only picked up two wins all year, one against Connors’ men back in October at the New Wilderness.

While Manor’s match fitness might not be great on Saturday week, they do have lots of players available for the match.

“Our captain Tryson Goodchild should be okay, we’re going to have to see how he does in training,” added Connors.

“We have a few guys coming back and Jack Sullivan started against Chichester, which was encouraging.

“We are carrying a couple of people at the moment who aren’t really match-fit, but they are getting there now and we were without Ben Thomas and Ben Lockyer last weekend.

“Both of them will be back to play Gravesend so it will be the first time we have some proper competition for places and tough decisions to make over selection.

“The only trouble is we will be lacking some match fitness, but they are not one of the top sides and have struggled like us so it is a game where we should look to compete for the full 90 minutes.”

Connors also revealed that Mike Eghan, one of the stars of last season, is close to returning to training after suffering a broken leg back in March.

He added: “Mike can down to the training ground last week and is obviously a little bit nervous because he suffered a broken leg.

“I think it is more mentally rather than physically because I reckon he could probably start training now. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks he will return and we can get him playing properly in March so he’ll have a few matches before we finish the season.”


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