Coach confident first win is just around the corner

James Cooper,. Matlock RFC
James Cooper,. Matlock RFC

“We’re certainly not ready to press the panic button yet!”

That was the message from Matlock RFC 1sts’ coach Alan Johnson after his side lost 39-18 at Paviors on Saturday, making it three defeats out of three so far this season in the Midlands One East.

But Johnson is confident the signs are there that his team will come good, starting with this Saturday’s match at home to Kettering (3pm start).

He explained: “We’ve had quite a tough start, playing a team that came up, a team that came down, and Pavs, who were in the play-offs last season so it could have been easier.

“Naturally, we’re disappointed that we have lost three out of three but we’re certainly not ready to press the panic button just yet.

“We were rusty in the first game and that was understandable because we had only had one pre-season game due to a couple of fixtures falling through but we’ve got better as the games have gone on.

“It’s not as if we’ve been outclassed, we just need to be more diligent in certain areas and not give the ball away cheaply because if you present teams at this level with a chance, they will almost certainly take it.

“There have been times in all three games where we have been dominant and when you have that situation, you have to make sure you score some points but I can’t fault the attitude and workrate of the lads and we are working hard to put it right.

“We’ve had a lot of injuries too, which have disrupted things, but all teams have to deal with this at some point.

“The Paviors game was a strange one. They are a much bigger side than us physically and I don’t think we touched the ball for first eight minutes but we did have our moments and we scored probably the best try during my time here as coach, finished off by Henri Packard. It was a lovely flowing move.

“We had a good 15 minutes of pressure but two tries were disallowed and when you have that pressure you must get points on the board.

“But we believe the win is coming.”

See www.matlockmercury.co.uk for a report from the game at Paviors.