Sutton's lead at the top is cut to five points after surprise draw
Sutton & Epsom head coach Jeff Parsons described the shock 15-15 draw at bottom club Camberley as a “bad day at the office”.
Parsons also saw his side’s lead at the top of the London Division Two South West cut to five points as Chobham, who Sutton face this weekend, beat Tottonians.
More concerning for Parsons is the broken leg sustained by tight-head prop Gary Nash, ruling him out for the remainder of the season.
Joe Ridgely and Charlie Purvis got the Sutton tries with Frankie Murray kicking five points, but a last-gasp Camberley levelled the scores and a potential match-winning conversion was missed - all giving Chobham and the chasing pack plenty of encouragement.
“We always said this was never going to be a one-horse race - there are a few teams that are really finding their feet,” Parsons said.
“Chobham, Tottonians and Portsmouth are all looking very strong – Chobham probably had their best win of the season by beating Totton away at the weekend.
“So they have come off the back of a very good win and we’ve come off the back of a very disappointing draw.”
He added: “But we’ll regroup – we had about half the first team missing so we should most of those back. Hopefully at home the boys will be a bit more up for it.”
Sutton started the year eight points clear, but a narrow win over Guildford and then last weekend’s draw at Camberley may suggest nerves are playing their part – however, Parsons says conditions were against them.
“When we played Camberley early on in the year we beat them by 70-odd points, but I could see they could cause teams problems as the season went and conditions worsened,” he said.
“They are a strong side, but it was like a mud-bath there, you could not get any purchase on the ground at all – everyone was slipping and sliding all over the place – and in the end they nicked a draw at the death.”
He added: “We were all over the place really – it was about 20 minutes in when [Gary] Nash broke his leg.
“The match was stopped for 25 minutes – everyone was sitting around. Then we had to get going again – it was not ideal. I can only describe it as a bad day at the office.”