Tigers are not deterred despite defeat against league leaders

Sedgley Park's Matt Riley

Sedgley Park's Matt Riley

First published in Sport by

MATT Riley believes it is just a matter of time before Sedgley Tigers get in the mix at the top of National League Two North.

The Whitefield men slipped two places to seventh when they lost a close-fought clash at Stourbridge, who went into the game top of the league.

The 7-0 defeat earned Tigers a bonus point and cost Stourbridge top spot as their failure to gain maximum points saw them overtaken by Macclesfield.

Riley, who has played at Sedgley for eight years, was proud of his side’s efforts and their performance against the high-flyers, and is confident the Park Lane side will settle into a winning team.

He believes they have improved on and off the pitch from last season when they were relegated.

And he says the atmosphere at the club is the best he has ever known.

“We were gutted to lose on Saturday,” he said.

“All the players were down, which is good to see in a way, because it shows it means so much to them.

“But the atmosphere at the club is like that. It’s the best I’ve known it. It’s fun to come into training and on match days.

“The camaraderie is second to none.

“We were unlucky at Stourbridge. We lost to a soft try in the first half when we got our organisation wrong.

“But there’s no point dwelling on it. It’s happened and it’s onwards and upwards now and we move on to the next game at home to Otley who are going well.

“We can look at Saturday as a point gained rather than five lost. We played well apart from one lapse in concentration.

“We had a couple of chances but they defended well, to be fair.

“It was a tight game and could have gone either way. That says a lot considering we were playing top of the league away and they have won every game this season.

“We set our standards high and we believe we can beat anyone on our day. But we haven’t played for a full 80 minutes in any game yet.

“I would be surprised if we didn’t finish in the top four at the end of the season but it’s too early really to say for sure. We’ll know better by Christmas.

Saturday’s game against Otley kicks off at 2.30pm.

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