Sutton & Epsom coach Jeff Parsons says his side’s return to winning ways in London Division Two South West owed much to the emotion of the

Sutton’s 27-24 win over Portsmouth on Saturday ended a run of two consecutive defeats and keeps the Rugby Lane team on top of the table.

The game had been earmarked as a memorial match for Sutton & Epsom stalwart Steve Schofield who died in September.

Schofield gave 20 years of service to the club, continuing even when
he moved to Portsmouth.

“The talk in the dressing room before the game was quite emotive rather than talk of tactics, which it might normally be,” Parsons said.

“There was a feeling in the dressing room that this was the time to start winning again.

“Steve would be pleased we got this win, and maybe the lads wanted to make sure they won for him.

“Steve did so much for the club and a lot of the lads were close friends with him – it made for a special day.”

Ian Knott, Matt Whittaker, Charlie Purvis and Mike Cartledge got the tries, while Steve Warnham kicked seven points.

Parsons said: “It was a tough game, and we were a little light on players, but that worked in our favour as we were light and mobile, while the Portsmouth team is a big and heavy side.

“But it was a battle and fortunately we nicked it at the end with Matt’s try.

“It was huge for us to get back to winning because this league is so tight, and only one team goes up automatically.

“One point separates the top three, and the fact we lost to teams in the bottom three – Old Alleynians and KCS Old Boys – goes to show that anyone can beat anyone else.”

He added: “We go to  London Cornish this weekend, and they’ve already beaten Old Reigatian – who are third, in their own backyard – There’s no knowing what will happen.”