HUNTINGDON Stags lost to Old Newtonians again on Sunday to fall four points adrift of league safety with just six games remaining. Stags took a 7-0 lead within the first minute the Leicester side had beaten them 13-3 earlier in the season, but despite a
HUNTINGDON Stags lost to Old Newtonians again on Sunday to fall four points adrift of league safety with just six games remaining.
Stags took a 7-0 lead within the first minute the Leicester side had beaten them 13-3 earlier in the season, but despite a dominant first half display the hosts failed to build on that lead. Charlie Cook ran in a try for Stags, and Elliot Baldwin converted to put them further ahead.
Stags had some strong scrummaging as they controlled the game early on, but some poor play saw them concede four penalties within the opening 10 minutes. Baldwin missed a Stags penalty after 15 minutes, as choosing to kick from just past the half way line proved too ambitious.
Alistair Dunsdon was strong in defence and made a good clearance after 28 minutes, but some sloppy passing began to cost Stags as they often fell short in the final third. Old Newtonians began to push forward and looked more likely at the end of the first half, having a try ruled out for a foul.
One minutes after the interval Doug Bentley fell after clashing heads with an opposition player, and Baldwin failed to convert another penalty. As Huntingdon looked for more energy, Eddie Drummond came on for Chris Baines after 60 minutes.
Ill disciplined play from Stags saw two players sin binned in two minutes to reduce them to 13 men, with Ben Strangeways walking off after 68 minutes and Baldwin following him after 70 minutes. The amount of penalties conceded by the home side finally cost them as the visitors scored after 73 minutes to make it 7-3.
Old Newtonians again converted a penalty after 80 minutes to reduce the deficit to a single point, and threatened to score a try with some powerful running at Stags who struggled to cope with the two man disadvantage. The hosts were strengthened with Strangeways and Baldwin returning, but Bentley being sin binned after 85 minutes hindered them further as the game dragged into stoppage time.
The visitors finally made the break through they had been looking for 13 minutes into stoppage time, converting another penalty to take the lead. Baldwin missed a good penalty opportunity in the dying moments as Stags lost their fourth game in a row.
Huntingdon now sit second from bottom in the Midland Three East (South) Division and level on points with bottom placed Northampton BBOB, who have a game in hand over them. They trail the team above them by four points with only six games remaining, and Stags have only won three games from 16 this season.