Winterbottom wants Esher to show some desire

By MARK BENGOECHEA

PETER WINTERBOTTOM wants Esher to replicate the desire and commitment they showed at Tonbridge last week as they aim to end a three-match losing streak against Old Albanian RFC on Saturday.

The Eees shrugged aside patchy displays against Worthing and Henley to push high-flying Tonbridge all the way before being edged out 17-11.

The three successive defeats have seen Esher slip to seventh in National Two South, but Director of Rugby Winterbottom was full of praise for his side despite the defeat in Kent.

He said: "We showed a lot of courage and I couldn't fault the effort and commitment; the tackle count was through the roof."

"We were up against a very good side and we had to show all our resolve to keep in the game, but we also played some good rugby and at the end came very close to getting a result. The boys applied themselves very well."

"Now we've got to get back to winning ways against Old Albanians. Their results have been up and down, but they ran both Henley and Tonbridge very close, so we know we're in for a very difficult game, although I don't know what kind of side they are able to select."

Esher make four changes to the line-up for the visit of Albanians to Molesey Road with captain Charlie Gossington, who was on the bench at Tonbridge, making his first start for two months after a shoulder injury. He slots into the back row with Cam Wilkins out, ironically with a shoulder injury.

The other change up front sees Joel Keefe come in the front row with Dan Lamb and Xavier Valentine both unavailable.

Sam Bullock also returns to start at scrum-half with Jack Walsh on the bench while Tom Mitchell is on the right wing as Tom James is unavailable.

Winterbottom said: "Sam Bullock needs some game time so gets a start in place of Jack Walsh, who has done very well for us. It's also good to have Charlie back making a start after seven or eight weeks out."

Old Albanian have had a mixed season, with five wins and seven defeats leaving them in 10th place and suffering a heavy 43-7 home defeat by Clifton last week. That came a week after they ended their away day losing run, emerging victorious at Westcliff in a 19-17 win.

A fitting Tribute to Sam 'Potts' Potter
Esher 1st XV v Old Albanian Rugby - 30th November