Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club heads into its final game of 2017 determined to start turning narrow defeats into victories.
H&B will host Folkestone this coming Saturday eager for a win after three consecutive losses by seven points or fewer, the latest of which was a disappointing 31-24 reverse at Lewes last weekend.
Head coach Chris Brooks said: “We targeted the two remaining games until Christmas (against Lewes and Folkestone) as wins and we’ve already blown one of those.
“During training this week we’ve got to put it right for Saturday. If we lose on Saturday, I would like to think it will be down to an absolutely brilliant performance by Folkestone.”
H&B have dropped to eighth in the 12-team division, and are now two points and one place behind Folkestone.
“We’ve dropped from seventh to eighth, but we’re still within striking distance of the teams above,” continued Brooks. “A bonus point win I reckon will jump us two places - that’s the target.
“I don’t like to put the players under pressure - I just want them to go out there, enjoy their rugby and play well - but we’ve got to start keeping an eye on our position in the league at the moment because in order to make our target of a good mid-season finish, we can’t afford any further sliding.
“Folkestone are one of those relatively strong mid-table clubs and these are the guys we’ve got to be performing against to make the target.
“It’s all very good performing against the top three and having creditable losses against them, but if we’re not winning against people competing in the same area of the league as us, it’s not going to happen.”
September’s reverse fixture ended in a 14-14 draw and the league table suggests another tight contest may well be on the cards tomorrow.
“We drew after a very tight game and came off the park thinking ‘why didn’t we win’?” added Brooks. “The guys are on board with what needs to be done.”
Flying winger Tim Sills is expected to return for a match which will kick-off at 2pm at Ark William Parker Academy.
Saturday’s game will mark the start of the second half of the league programme and will be followed by a festive break before the action resumes on January 6.