Ashley: No walk in the park at Teddington

Gosport coach Scott Ashley
Gosport coach Scott Ashley
Southsea Nomads made progress. Picture: Neil Marshall

Heathens suffer disappointment... Nomads progress

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Gosport & Fareham coach Scott Ashley has warned his team of complacency as they travel to London two south west basement side Teddington.

The Blue & Golds opened up a three-point lead at the top of the division by beating closest-rivals Guildford last weekend and are defending an unbeaten record.

Ashley, however, knows from experience that his team can’t afford to take anything for granted.

‘This is one of those games were we could easily come unstuck if we don’t do things right,’ said Ashley.

‘We only have to think back to Old Colfeians last season who hadn’t won a game until they beat us.

‘That cost us dearly but, hopefully, we have learned from that.

‘Teddington play in a big open park with deer roaming around, so that will be different and we have to cope with it.

‘We can’t expect it to be a walk in the park.

‘It will be up to us to create the right atmosphere and play with our normal intensity.

‘We have to go there, be clinical and make sure we don’t throw our advantage away.’

The visitors have to avoid thinking that it is ‘job done’ after their terrific win over Guildford.

Ashley’s men face a difficult spell of games before Christmas, which include third-placed Tottonians and a never-easy local derby against Portsmouth.

If they can maintain their lead at the top going into the new year, they will give themselves a great chance of bouncing straight back up into London one south.

Ashley knows there is a lot of rugby to be played before that can happen, though.

The strength in depth of his squad will be tested this weekend as a few regular starters are unavailable.

‘It was a big win for us last weekend and we must not throw all that hard work away,’ said Ashley.

‘My best Christmas present would be us still at the top of the league.’

In Hampshire two, second-placed Fareham Heathens can keep pressure on leaders Petersfield by beating Chineham at Cams Alders.

Locks Heath Pumas are intent on revenge for an earlier cup defeat as they visit Southsea Nomads.