Rugby Union: Old Cooperians head coach Craig Ratford aware of importance of Chelmsford trip in London Two North East

PUBLISHED: 18:00 08 December 2017

Old Cooperians huddle together earlier in the season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Old Cooperians huddle together earlier in the season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

St Mary's Lane club looking to end run of eight games without a win at division's bottom club

Old Cooperians head coach Craig Ratford says a win is a must for his side this Saturday when they visit London Two North East bottom-club Chelmsford.

While their hosts this weekend have lost all 12 of their league fixtures this term, Coops themselves are bidding to end a run of eight league games without a win.

The St Mary’s Lane club looked to have started the campaign well by triumphing in their opening two fixtures.

Since then, though, they have been unable to secure what would be just a third league victory of the campaign, with their last success coming at Woodford on September 16.

Coops’ poor run of form has seen the Upminster-based side slide down the table, with the club now just seven points above the relegation zone.

The trip to Chelmsford is the penultimate game of 2017 for Coops, who end the calendar year at home to Woodford next Saturday.

Ratford knows Coops must pick up victories in both games to pull away from the drop zone, and says a loss at Chelmsford this Saturday does not bear thinking about.

“It is a big game for us this Saturday. We know anything other than a win will leave us in a difficult position post-Christmas,” he said.

The trip to Chelmsford this weekend will be the first time Coops have taken to the pitch in a competitive match since beating Barking of London Two South East 34-25 in the second round of London Intermediate Cup on November 18.

The St Mary’s Lane outfit had been due to host Norwich in the league on November 25, but were forced to concede that match after a string of injuries.

Despite two weeks passing since then, the injuries still appear to be hitting Coops hard, with Ratford revealing some players are still unavailable to make the trip to Chelmsford this weekend.

“We are without a couple of regular starters, but it’s good to see other boys getting a shot in the first team. Hopefully we can get our second away win of the season,” he added.

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