07:00PM, Friday 19 November 2021
Maidenhead have an extra week to prepare for their visit to Brighton on November 27, and the match kicks off a really interesting period through to the Christmas break where head coach David Mobbs-Smith and the players will get a ‘measuring stick’ to how they’re adapting to life in the London & South East Premier Division.
On the face of it, Maids have struggled since their switch from the South West Premier Division, having lost eight of their 10 matches to date, however, the side has been much more competitive in recent weeks despite their results and what the league table shows.
On Saturday, they were seconds away from registering their third league win of the season only to see it snatched out of their hands with the very last play of the game. Maids held a narrow 20-17 over Sidcup as the clock ticked past the 80-minute mark, but, just when it seemed they’d done enough, Sidcup broke through to score.
Focus now switches to the game at Brighton, where Maids will be looking to clinch their first away win of the season.
“We’ve got a week off now and then a very similar opponent in Brighton away,” said Mobbs-Smith. “It should be another competitive game, but hopefully we can keep improving and come out on the right side of a result for once.
“Saturday’s performance was decent, and the week before it was maybe even better. We’re there or there abouts but we’re just not turning these performances into victories.”
He added: “We’ve then got three top sides before the Christmas break (Sutton & Epsom, Sevenoaks, and Wimbledon) so we’ll have a real measuring stick of where we are. They’re the top sides so it will give us a chance to assess where we are and what we’ve got to do.”
Mobbs-Smith believes Maids have played well enough to have won more matches than the two they’ve managed so far – both against the sides currently below them in the table – but they’ve got to out and prove that, against teams such as Brighton and Sutton & Epsom.
“On Saturday there were a few little moments where we made a mistake in attack and, at 20-17, it would have put the game to bed,” he said.
“But there are many positives. Joe Brawn scored again, and he’s been one of the finds of the season. He’s scored two cracking tries in two games.
“We’re right in these games now and it’s just a case of closing one out. This weekend there were five extra minutes on the clock at the end.
“That just shows you how close the game was, and they played really well not to make a mistake during that period.
“Our defence was absolutely heroic, but they just managed to hold onto possession and find that try at the end.”