Worthing Raiders must bounce back or face relegation scrap

George Hammond tries to find a way through at Birmingham & Solihull. Picture: Colin Coulson
George Hammond tries to find a way through at Birmingham & Solihull. Picture: Colin Coulson

Jody Levett has warned Worthing Raiders: Pick up points or face getting dragged into a battle at the bottom.

Raiders failed to register a single point as they tasted an 18-0 National 2 South defeat at strugglers Birmingham & Solihull on Saturday.

That was a second straight loss for Worthing after they were beaten at home by Clifton the week previous.

Prior to a blip in the past couple of weeks, Raiders had won three successive matches and were looking up the table.

However after the defeat at Birmingham, Levett’s team dropped a place to ninth.

It’s an incredibly tight division at present, with just seven points between Raiders and fourth from bottom Old Redcliffians.

Kiba Richards is stopped in his tracks against Birmingham & Solihull. Picture: Colin Coulson

Kiba Richards is stopped in his tracks against Birmingham & Solihull. Picture: Colin Coulson

Given how close things are in the standings, Levett knows Raiders must start picking up points again or face a potential relegation scrap.

He said: “It’s vital we respond in the right way.

“The mid-table is very tight and a few matches without points means getting dragged into a battle at the bottom.

“We didn’t lack confidence at Birmingham, just accuracy and finishing the chances we created.”

Head coach Levett was disappointed in the way Worthing failed to make pressure count in the defeat to Birmingham.

Raiders did have opportunities to get on the board, just not making the most of them.

But Levett was aware of the task his troops would face heading to a team fighting for survival.

“Losing is never a great feeling,” Levett said.

“It was always going to be tough playing a team who are fighting for survival and have built some good results and performances over the last few weeks.

“We did not turn pressure into points when we had the chance to.

“We let Birmingham off the hook too easily and allowed them to gain in confidence.

“All credit to them, though, they defended very well and stuck to their game plan to get the victory.”

Raiders return to Roundstone Lane on Saturday but face a huge task if they are to halt a slide of successive defeats.

Title-chasing Canterbury are the the visitors and they will be looking to keep the pressure on leaders Rams.

Canterbury sit second and will not want to lose grip on their promotion quest.

“Canterbury’s win last weekend means they are still fighting hard for promotion and come to us as a form team. We will need a strong performance without a doubt.”

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