Ben Coulson admitted Worthing Raiders deserved to see their perfect National 2 South start at Roundstone Lane ended on Saturday.
Old Albanian visited Raiders for the first time in three seasons following a stint in National League 1 and ran out 21-16 victors.
Worthing had won each of their opening three league matches on home turf this term but 14-man Old Albanian returned home with the win.
Raiders assistant coach Coulson gave a frank assessment following the club’s first defeat at Roundstone Lane this campaign. He said: “We’re upset that we didn’t give the best account of ourselves.
“Ultimately we didn’t deserve to win owing to our lack of accuracy and execution in key moments. There were chances to maintain our home run but we squandered them, although credit should go to the Old Albanian side for their fortitude in defence when keeping us out during the last five minutes.
“I think it’s fair to say we did not start particularly well but managed to stay in the game, scoring just before the half was out. Realistically we were flattered being 8-14 down at half time. We then were able to build some pressure in the second half and create chances to win the game, but in those moments we did not execute. Practically speaking momentum was against us for large periods in the first half, we were unable to exert enough pressure ourselves to claim ownership of the match, although the second half performance was comparatively better.”
Old Albanian were forced to play out the final ten minutes or so a man light after they had a player red carded for a high tackle.
However Raiders could not find a way to turn things around in the closing stages, although they did pick up a bonus point for their efforts.
Ben Holt got his first try for the club after being handed his debut last time out and Coulson has been impressed by how players have stepped up in recent weeks.
He added: “There are a number of players that have made a good impact in the last few weeks and as the season progresses there will undoubtedly be more. It is our job as a coaching team to make sure these players are able to make substantive contributions at National League level when called upon. Thus far the debutants have added to the performance of the team and represented the jersey admirably.”
Raiders are on the road for the sixth time in their opening ten matches on Saturday when they go to Bury St Edmunds.
Coulson said: “Bury St Edmunds are a strong team and although they lost last week, they are an incredibly well coached, dangerous side that we will be preparing to face on the weekend. It will be important for us to make improvements in all areas of our performance if we are to be successful on the weekend.”
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