Cinerford 39 Fylde 32

Paul Arnold
Paul Arnold
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Coach Mark Nelson insisted his Fylde side were their own worst enemies as they let a 10-point second-half lead slip in Gloucestershire.

Fylde have not recorded back-to-back victories since September and have now succumbed to five straight away defeats.

The visitors looked to be maintaining their form from the second-half blitz of Hull Ionians the previous weekend as Paul Arnold try double and scores for Warren Spragg and Ryan De La Harpe left them 29-19 ahead on 53 minutes.

Spragg had been passed fit following a shoulder injury and was able to take the place of first-choice flyer Oliver Brennand, whose wife was expecting.

However they couldn’t hold on as Alex Pickersgill and Jack Adams’ second try of the game enabled Cinderford to retake the lead.

And although Chris Johnson held his nerve to kick a late penalty and earn his side a second bonus point, Cinderford ran out 39-32 winners and Nelson couldn’t help but think his side should have earned the full five points.

He said: “If you can call snatching defeat from the jaws of victory exciting, then yes I suppose it was an exciting game.

“We made too many basic mistakes. We’ve got two points out of it but really we should have been clear halfway through the second half, and ultimately had to kick a late penalty just to get the losing bonus points.

“We should have won the game, simple as that. I said to the players it was 10 out of 10 all round for effort but our execution let us down at crucial times and sadly that’s cost us.

“We’ve got enough talent in the side to play a near faultless game but on occasions we just drift off.

“It’s a mental thing. We need more mental strength in our game.”

Despite the agonising loss which saw his side slip a spot to seventh, there were still positives for Nelson, particularly the continued good form of lock Arnold, who went joint top of the SSE National League One try-scoring charts with Loughborough Students’ Jack Pons on 12 after his double.

But Nelson admitted that personal triumphs were no substitute for the disappointment of another defeat on the road, after Fylde’s season had started so promisingly with back-to-back away wins

“The forwards battled manfully, Arnold among others, and it was great for him to grab another two tries,” he added.

“We created a few good chances with our backs but the lads are disappointed that we’ve let that one get away when we had a great chance to put an end to our bad away run.”

Fylde: Viney, Rath, Briers S, Briers C, Spragg, Johnson, De La Harpe, Birchall, Rylance, Griffiths, Arnold, Gore, Robinson, Stewart, Beaumont; Replacements: Lewis, Burtonwood, Vernon, Dorrington, Lawton