12:20PM, Monday 06 September 2021
Forward Will Macaulay believes Maidenhead more than coped with the power and pace of North Walsham in their first London & South East Premier Division clash on Saturday and, had their play been a little tidier in a couple of key situations, he believes they may well have been celebrating victory.
Maids looked to be closing in on a morale-boosting opening day win on Saturday, after opening up an 18-10 lead midway through the second half through tries from Dave Cole and Elio Mandozzi, but one loose pass presented Walsham’s Dan Walsh with an interception try and momentum swung noticeably back to the visitors.
Smith scored again a few minutes later, stepping in from the right touchline to dive over by the posts and Maidenhead couldn’t recover their composure in the closing stages.
It was a game that ebbed and flowed, but unfortunately for the hosts, who’ll feel they played well enough to win, the game’s fine margins went in the visitor’s favour.
“North Walsham came with a very good attacking plan and their defence was on point,” said Macaulay.
“There were too many errors from us, so we’ll have to go back to the drawing board.
“Our defence was good in patches, and we played well for most of the game, but we just need to work on a couple of errors we made in open play.
“The game was in our favour, but there was an intercept try and a dropped opportunity (when Cole knocked the ball as he attempted to score a second try), or rather good defence from them.
“There were a couple of things. I’ve been stepped by their winger and he’s then gone through and scored, and that’s what’s given them the win in the end.”
Macaulay doesn’t feel Maids’ heads dropped after Smith was presented with the chance to race the length of the field unopposed to score, but there’s no arguing it altered the complexion of the contest.
“No, I don’t feel they did,” he said. “I’m more of a positive mentality. I think ‘okay that’s happened, let’s go for the next thing and build up from there’.
“The win will come for us with performances like that. We had a good performance today, but we just need to tidy up a few things.
“We were told this league would be a lot quicker and faster, but we were more than able to cope with that pace today. They were very good, and they gave a good account of themselves, but we were also good in defence in the main, however, it didn’t help when injuries occurred, and we had forwards playing in the backline.”
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