WESTCLIFF suffered another narrow defeat in National Two South, losing 23-18 to Old Redcliffians at the Gables.

Westcliff have now been beaten in all five of their matches following promotion from the London & SE Premier Division last term.

And first team manager Rick Compton was a frustrated figure at the final whistle.

“It’s another bonus point but another disappointment and another game where we didn’t quite do enough,” said Compton.

“It was another game though where we demonstrated we are and can be competitive and another game from which we will learn.

“We have picked up a few knocks and we will need to see where that leaves us when the dust settles but, having brushed ourselves off, we will return to the training pitch and focus on our visit to Bournemouth this week.”

Westcliff were forced into making six changes at the weekend but still started positively and their early pressure and patience was rewarded after five minutes with a try from Sam Reynolds.

However, Will Weston was then forced off with an ankle injury and the visitors upped the tempo to score a converted try which put them 7-5 in front.

Old Redcliffians soon added another try before Westcliff replied with a penalty from Jack Jones.

The visitors hit back with a penalty of their own before a try from Westcliff skipper Chris Marsh, which was converted by Jones, made it 15-15 at half-time.

Westcliff remained on top at the start of the second half but were only able to add a penalty which put them three points in front.

But Old Redcliffians soon got back into the game and moved back upfield to score an unconverted try and a penalty to put them 23-18 ahead. The final 15 minutes were tense as Westcliff absorbed pressure and gradually built momentum in the closing moments.

As a result, the hosts laid siege to the line but a determined and frequently desperate defence kept them short of it as Old Redcliffians dug deep to deny Westcliff any more points.

Westcliff will now be hoping for more when they face Bournemouth, the only team below them in the table, this weekend.

Westcliff: Croft, H Morrant, Jones, Whiting, Triana, McKeith, Bolton, Weston, B Morrant, Binneman, Scogings, Vandermolen, Lynch, Marsh, Reynolds. Replacements: Meakin, Binstead, Anderson-Brown, Kwassi & Hughes