SOUTHEND Saxons skipper Ian Morrison was left frustrated following his side’s 33-30 defeat to Old Haberdashers.

Southend had been hoping to start the New Year in style at Warners Bridge.

But, despite his disappointment, Morrison was also keen to remain upbeat.

“It was a balanced game with some good attack shown by both teams, with defence taking a bit of a back seat,” said Morrison.

“It is frustrating to have started the year off with a loss but there are positives.

“We have come away with two points and we retained the ball extremely well at stages.

“In the second half I believe we dominated the majority of the play but you can’t concede the points we did and expect to win.

“We will work to change that this weekend and we know what to expect from Amersham. But hopefully we can hit the ground running in what will be a tough encounter against a solid team.”

Southend started strongly at the weekend and went ahead with a try from Ross O’Brien before the visitors hit back with two tries of their own to lead 14-5.

Moments later, Joel Armitage touched down for the Saxons before Old Haberdashers replied with another try to lead 19-13 at half-time. After the break, the visitors scored another try before O’Brien notched his second effort of the afternoon. With attacks on top, Old Haberdashers soon bagged a try before Southend launched a late comeback.

Tries from Fraser Banks and another from Armitage saw the Saxons move to within three points of Old Haberdashers. But the hosts were unable to secure any more points to leave director of rugby Josh Ward with mixed emotions.

“It’s difficult to sum up my emotions,” said Ward.

“I felt our first half was lethargic in areas.

“To the boys’ credit we dug in and kept within touching distance, which allowed us to regroup positively at half-time. We played some outstanding rugby at times and to miss out in the last play hurts.”

Southend: Ramsey, O’Brien, Banks, Vaughan, Day, Hoult, Branch, Armitage, Grier, Campbell-Webster, Newton, O’Kill, Forster-Knight, Morrison, Wagstaff

Replacements: Cooper, Gemmell & Sexton