East London edge out coach Gooby’s former club as Max makes mark with full points
- Credit: Archant
East London battled to a gritty 13-10 win over London Three Essex rivals Chelmsford at West Ham’s Memorial Ground on Saturday.
The visitors were determined to get one over former coach Eddie Gooby, having lost all three meetings between the clubs last season.
But they were denied a potential matchwinning try from the final play of the match, when the referee decided they had been held up by an East London hand.
Gooby said: "Sometimes tight games are judged on very small margins. Games against Chelmsford are always difficult. We weren't at our best and we had to tough it out but we still won. Both of us will be there or thereabouts at the business end of the season."
Chelmsford started with the wind and had the better of the early exchanges, taking the lead on 12 minutes with a penalty for an offside decision.
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East London rallied and forced the visitors to concede a host of penalties, taking the lead on 20 minutes following a scrum on the five-metre line when a long pass was lofted to full-back Max Stanyard who stepped inside to score and added the conversion from close to the left touchline.
Chelmsford regained the lead five minutes later with a converted try in the left cornerbut a number of turnovers by the solid East London defence kept
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the visitors at bay after that.
The home side began the second half better and debutant left wing Andrew Till stretched the Chelmsford defence on the hour before scrum-half Will Brown was tackled short of the line.
The pressure told and a high tackle close to the Chelmsford line resulted in a yellow card for the visitors and Stanyard kicked the penalty to level the scores on 65 minutes.
With 10 minutes left Chelmsford gave away a further penalty and Stanyard rifled the kick through the posts from distance.
East London should have put the game out of Chelmsford's reach but a sloppy pass meant a 3-on-1 overlap on the left wing went begging and they were forced to defend resolutely until the end, including the match-deciding final play.
Gooby added: "I am delighted with the team and we are learning with every game. Chelmsford put us under a lot of pressure and our defence was superb. To prevent them scoring in the second half was an awesome effort."
East London travel to unbeaten Campion on Saturday, where they have lost in the past two seasons.
East London: Urbonavicius; Bourke; Coman; Norton; Staples-Preston; Parrott; Cassidy; Bracken; W Brown; Billinghurst; Till; E Brown; Ng; O'Donoghue; Stanyard. Replacements: Hogan; Gibson; B Brown.