THREE points was again the deficit as Horsham were narrowly beaten 22-19 by London 3 South East new boys Sheppey courtesy of a number of sloppy errors and missed opportunities.
After their narrow 13-10 defeat to Uckfield last weekend, they were once again left to consider what might have been, though they may have snatched a draw with the last kick of the game had Will Johnson’s penalty not fallen just short of the posts.
It was agonising to watch for coach Nick Stocker who admits that once again, a 20 minute lapse in concentration cost them maximum points.
He said: “Last week we had a lapse midway through the game, but this week it was the opening 20 minutes.
“They seemed hungrier and stronger in the tackle and raced into a good lead. We worked our way back into the game, but once again, losing concentration for just a short period of the game has cost us.”
Horsham’s sloppy start allowed Sheppey to race into a 10-0 lead thanks to a penalty and a converted try.
The home side burst into life just after the 20 minute mark Rob Granthamhill drove over the line, with Matt Goodsir converting the extras.
10-7 down at half-time, Horsham were well and truly in the game, but two sloppy errors just after the restart allowed Sheppey to convert two penalties to move into a 16-7 lead.
Horsham responded almost immediately with James Whiting going over; Goodsir again converted to leave Horsham trailing by two.
Another sloppy mistake allowed Sheppey to move 19-14 ahead with a penalty, before a sublime drop goal made it 22-14.
Horsham’s again responded well, with Liam Yates going over in the corner. Goodsir this time failed to convert to leave the home side trailing by three.
With almost the last kick off the game, after constant pressure, Horsham were awarded a penalty. Will Johnson stepped up to take it, but saw his kick fall agonisingly short.
Despite the defeat, Stocker was pleased with his side’s performance.
He added: “We lost because of sloppy mistakes but we are playing the right rugby.
“We will work on a few things in training, but we’re a young side. As we gain more experience we’ll see more improvement and there’ll be less mistakes.”