Saunders rues costly Rams mistake

Joe Briggs. Picture: Neil Marshall
Joe Briggs. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Petersfield Town made the long journey back from Arlesey Town empty-handed after suffering a 1-0 defeat in Southern League division one central.

Ian Saunders faces the task of lifting his team for tonight’s Portsmouth Senior Cup semi-final against Gosport Borough at Privett Park (7.45pm).

‘It isn’t the ideal game for us 48 hours after losing in the league but we can go there with nothing to lose,’ said the Rams manager.

‘Despite the loss there is still a great confidence in our squad and we will go to Gosport determined to make it as tough as we can for them.

‘We have tried to do our homework.

‘If we are at our very best and they are slightly off theirs then we have a chance of causing an upset.’

At Arlesey, the Rams paid the price for one mistake on the stroke of half-time when they conceded a sloppy goal.

Until then, the visitors had done well – although neither goalkeeper had been forced into action.

From a throw-in, the Blues broke into the visitors’ area and Christian Tavernier beat Luke Eaton.

‘We were a bit stunned by their goal – it wasn’t a great time to concede,’ said Saunders.

‘In this league you cannot afford to give away cheap goals.

‘In the second half we came out but huffed and puffed without making much headway.’

The Rams’ best chance arrived 10 minutes from the end when a great through ball sent Joe Briggs clear.

However, the goalkeeper guessed right to make the save.

The Rams applied some late pressure but the home keeper was never tested.

‘It was a long trek to come away with nothing,’ said Saunders.

‘We are starting to look like a half decent Southern League side.

‘Last season this was the sort of game we probably would have won.

‘But making the step up you find you get punished for every mistake you make.’