Despite scoring two well worked tries, a series of errors throughout the match cost Charlton Park dearly against a Cobham side wishing to start turning their season round and improving their league position.
From the start of the match Cobham looked the brighter of the teams and their greater cohesive play bought them immediate results, as within the first ten minutes they had opened the scoring with a penalty, after being denied a try by desperate try line defence by Charlton.
Charlton’s first half play was lackadaisical with them dropping the ball on numerous occasions or by passes going astray, and with their tight play not functioning well they were on the back-foot from the start. It was following a Charlton error, which saw a pass going straight into touch, from the ensuing line out a well-executed handling move saw Cobham break through to score a converted try to extend their lead. A smartly taken drop goal further extended the home side’s lead before Charlton had had the opportunity to stabilise their play.
Despite playing on the back foot for long periods Charlton occasionally showed glimpses of their true attacking potential and in particular Thor Normann and Tom Coad, making a welcome return from a long term injury, made telling runs. Aided by driving play Charlton created several good opportunities but subsequent errors ensured that they were unable to maintain any impetuous.
It was during the closing minutes of the first half, following a move that had seen Charlton being stripped of the ball close to the Cobham goal line, that created the position for Charlton’s first score. In stripping the ball Cobham were forced to take the ball back and touch down in their own in goal area leading to Charlton being given a five-metre scrum and they took advantage well when Coad scored a try to give Charlton a glimmer of hope at half time.
Any thoughts that Charlton may have had of staging a revival in the second half, were quickly snubbed out as Cobham tightened their play and Charlton were pinned deep into their own half with a series of well-directed kicks. Allied to Charlton continuing to make errors, which even a series of substitutions failed to eradicate, Cobham’s lead was further extended when they chased a well-directed grubber kick and Charlton, in their efforts to negate the danger, were forced to touch the ball down in their own in goal area. From the ensuing five metre scrum Cobham utilised the chance to set in motion a handling move that saw them score their second try of the game.
To compound Charlton’s woes a further error by them, that saw them losing control of the ball, which Cobham utilised to take the opportunity ruthlessly to score their third try of the game to calm their nerves. Putting aside the opportunity to attempt to score a fourth try Cobham acted pragmatically and kicked a penalty to cushion their lead.
The last five minutes of the match saw Charlton staging a small revival that finally saw them put together a series of phases that saw them forcing Cobham onto the back foot. It was following a robust drive from Rob Saunderson that saw Charlton quickly taking a tapped penalty kick and Coad touched the ball down for the try, converted quickly by Normann, to give Charlton a glimmer of hope that they could come away from with a losing bonus point. Needing to score a third try they increased the tempo of the play, but time was against them as Cobham absorbed the pressure and secured the well merited victory.
Charlton hope for a better performance when the host Chobham, who lie fifth in the league, on 6th December at Broad Walk.