Bailey confident of Old Street’s survival despite Canvey draw
PUBLISHED: 11:26 23 February 2012
London Two North East: Old Streetonians 14 Canvey Island 14
Old Streetonians boss David Bailey remains confident that his team have what it takes to avoid relegation from London Two North East, despite seeing his side throw away a five-point lead to draw at home with relegation rivals Canvey Island on Saturday.
Streets started the game strongly, and when full-back Alex Glover broke through the line and kicked ahead, Matt Atkinson was on hand to collect Canvey’s fumbled attempted clearance to score the game’s opening try.
The hosts then failed to extend their lead when they missed two penalty attempts, before Canvey took advantage of ill-discipline in the lineout to pull the score back to 5-3.
The Shoreditch side had further chances in the first half, but saw them go begging and lead by just two points at the break.
In the second half, with conditions worsening, errors crept in to both side’s play resulting in three penalties a piece as the score reached 14-9 in favour of Old Streets.
However, with 15 minutes to go, Canvey executed a clever cross-field kick for their winger to score an unconverted try to bring the scores level.
“It was a disappointing result, but it was better than losing,” said Bailey.
“The result leaves us second-from bottom, one point behind Canvey, and I think that we were better than them on the day, but we just didn’t make it count.
“We can still catch them, all it takes is a losing or winning bonus point, which I know we are capable of getting.
“Looking at their fixtures, I think they can only really win one more game this season against Saffron Walden at home, whereas there are a few games that I fancy us to have a real go at.”
Bailey took some heart from the way that his side started the game, but was frustrated by a certain naivety that crept in when Streets were in try-scoring positions.
“I don’t know why, but we lacked that killer instinct sometimes when we could have scored valuable points,” he said.
“However, we outplayed Canvey throughout the majority of the game, and we were ahead for most of it too.
“But fairplay to Canvey, their try was the only clear-cut chance they had all game and they took it, even though we had three previous opportunities to clear our lines.”
Despite the draw, Bailey revealed the mood inside the Old Streets camp is still relatively upbeat.
“The squad are surprisingly buoyant,” he said.“We know that we have some good players that are more than capable of playing in this league, which is where we want to be next season.
“It is going to be tough, but I believe we can stay up.”