We are very close to clicking, says Barking player-coach Lloyd

PUBLISHED: 17:00 03 October 2014

Barking player-coach Ben Lloyd (pic: Mick Kearns/TGSPHOTO)

Barking player-coach Ben Lloyd (pic: Mick Kearns/TGSPHOTO)

Mick Kearns/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY

It’s still early days for the new regime at Barking and player-coach Ben Lloyd feels the side are not too far away from clicking,

Barking lost for the third time in succession in London One North with an 18-9 defeat at Brentwood at the weekend.

However, for an hour of Saturday’s game they were down to 14 men following Aaron Higgins’ red crd for an alleged punch on Billy Aldous.

Prop Alex Balourini also spent time in the sin-bin in the first half, while Andrew Badcock also saw red late on after allegedly striking an opponent.

And taking all of that into consideration, Lloyd believed they showed real character to remain in contention throughout.

He said: “As bad as it sounds we were quite pleased with the performance considering we were down on numbers. We showed a real reaction.

“It was always going to be tough when you are down to 14 so early on. And from then on in you are likely to get very little going your way from the referee.”

Brentwood went in front with the resultant penalty following the dismissal of Higgins.

Lloyd kicked Barking level soon after as they dug in deep, but a Felix Harris try saw Brentwood lead 8-3 at half time.

Henry Bird kicked a penalty to move Brentwood 11-3 ahead, however Barking responded and a Craig Ratford penalty reduced the deficit to 11-6.

Aaron Stanier burst through the visiting defence to score under the posts, and Bird added the extras as the hosts moved 18-6 in front.

Barking kept going and another Ratford penalty pulled it back to 18-9, though Badcock’s sending-off saw the visitors end the match in disappointing fashion.

Despite the defeat, Lloyd feels if they can replicate that showing and keep 15 men on the field, they will have a good chance of taking their second win of the season when hosting Ipswich on Saturday.

“We don’t feel we are too far away from clicking,” he added.

“It is a relatively new team with a new coaching set-up so it is bound to take a little bit of time.

“But the general consensus amongst the boys is that we are only one good result away from putting together a string of results.

“Hopefully that will come against Ipswich and if we keep 15 men on the pitch that will help.

“We feel we are on the verge of something and if we can get the win, we can start pushing on and send the rest of the league a real statement.”

Meanwhile, Barking’s second team lost 39-0 at Upminster and the third team were just edged out 13-12 at home to Rochford.

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