WESTCLIFF let slip a 14-5 lead and missed two late kicks to suffer a frustrating defeat against Old Albanians in National Two South.

The visitors fought back to triumph 19-17 at the Gables.

And Westcliff manager Rick Compton was left feeling frustrated at the final whistle.

“It was a frustrating result in a game we allowed to slip from our grasp,” said Compton.

“The missed kicks at the death were the kind of opportunities you need to take in a tight game but our downfall lay in the poor start to the second half.

“We surrendered the lead and the momentum directly from the restart and took too long to get back on track.

“In such a close game the error count will generally dictate the outcome and those we made hurt us more than those that they made, did them.

“We can acknowledge our effort and bemoan our luck but we still need to make better decisions at key moments to convert near misses into wins.”

Westcliff broke the deadlock at the weekend when Ewan Binneman broke off the back of a driving maul to score close to the posts.

And Jack Jones - in only his second appearance of the campaign - converted.

Old Albanians replied with a try of their own to cut Westcliff’s lead to 7-5 but just before the break Binneman crashed over another try Jones was again able to convert to make it 14-5 at half-time. However, Westcliff were sluggish after the break and Old Albanians scored two tries in the opening five minutes to put them 19-14 in front.

Westcliff still had not regained either their focus or composure and after 55 minutes James Scogings earned a 10-minute breather at the referee’s insistence for a body check as a clearing kick was sent upfield.

To Westcliff’s credit, they regrouped and applied themselves.

They defended strongly and hit back with a well-taken penalty from Jones.

Restored to a full compliment Westcliff went in search of a winning score in the game’s final stages.

As the light faded, they forced two penalties in the closing minutes but both of Greg Bannister’s attempts at goal crept agonisingly wide as second from bottom Westcliff suffered a 10th defeat in 11 games.

Westcliff: Croft, Hogarth, Jones, Smith, Radzevicius, Bannister, Bolton, Dellas, Lynch, Binneman, Scogings, Dartnell, S Reynolds, Marsh, Vandermolen. Replacements: Whiting, B Reynolds, Morrant, Weston & Meakin