SOUTH Woodham Ferrers suffered a narrow 9-8 defeat to Southwold in London Two North East.

The setback saw Woodham slip to eighth in the standings.

And a controversial ending to the game added to the frustration of the club’s David Baker.

“With only a few moments left in the game we were again on the attack and managed to get into a threatening position,” said Baker.

“A penalty awarded for a high tackle could have given us back the lead but the referee called the advantage over as the lads tried to press for the full seven points.

“But this was a game we should have won anyway.

“We were on top for most of the game and, against an opposition that rarely threatened, we probably had done enough to bag the four points.

“In the end the infringements cost us dearly and Southwold will go away thinking how lucky they were to take the points that sends them up into second place in the league.”

Saturday’s game opened with the visitors on the attack and, as the home side took a while to get into their stride, Southwold opened the scoring with a penalty kick.

But the score seemed to wake the home team up and they were soon on the attack themselves.

Strong defending from Southwold kept them at bay until Alex Baker evened the score with a penalty.

Most of the play was coming from the home side and they were finally rewarded with a well-worked try from Terry Stiffell to put them 8-3 ahead at half-time.

For the casual supporter the second half would have been a disappointment as the two teams vied for control of the game.

Much of the game was played around the centre line with both packs locked in an arm wrestle.

Woodham’s attack looked strong when the ball was spread wide but there was always someone there to make the last tackle.

Southwold’s attack never really looked like breaking the line and it seemed like the points were in the bag for Woodham.

However, that was not to be the case and in the end the game hinged on two late infringements by the home team as Southwold took full advantage by converting the resulting penalties.

In London One South, Thurrock lost 32-17 at London Cornish and now sit 11th in the league table.

In Essex One, Canvey Island produced a dominant display to see off Clacton 32-7 at home.

The Islanders are now second in the standings having won four of their six outings so far this season.

However, Canvey remain nine points behind league leaders Dagenham, who have yet to lose this season.

Dagenham were handed a home walkover win against Billericay at the weekend to maintain their 100 per cent record.