Battersea Ironsides skipper Marcus Bailey wants his charges to take a lesson from last weekend’s defeat to table-topping Camberley.

It ended a three-match unbeaten run, and dropped the Ironsides to third in the London Division Three South West table.

However, Bailey is certainly not panicking and reckons the club is far exceeding his own expectations in their debut season in the London Leagues.

Moreover, had the Ironsides not started slowly against Camberley, who are now unbeaten in six and are seven points clear, and not been left with a mountain to climb in the second half, the result could have been very different.

He said: “The result was a fair reflection of the game – we just didn’t seem to get going from the off, which you need to do against Camberley.

“Come the second half we were better, but by then they were three or four tries up and we clawed two back, but we ran out of time.”

He added: “It was a high pressure game, we had a good home record to maintain and we’d lost to Camberley earlier in the season so there was a chance of redemption.

“Maybe the guys were a little nervous – but it did not go to plan, and it’s a shame because if we’d come out of the blocks it could have been a very different game.”

Bailey went over the whitewash against Camberley, and Ben Mott kicked the conversion, to add to a penalty try.

He said: “It will be important to bounce back [against Old Tonbridgians] although I don’t think Saturday is the start of a losing streak, it’s just a blip.

“If anything, it may be taught us a lesson to come out of the blocks firing and realise there are some teams that cannot be beaten in the final 20 minutes, sometimes it has to be done in the first half.”

The Ironsides were promoted as champions of Surrey One last season, with Camberley following them into the London leagues as runners-up – some that is not lost on Bailey.

“We may have lost on Saturday, but what we tend to forget is that we were promoted last season, and the two teams promoted from Surrey One have been one-two for a couple of months.

“Having both teams up there a good sign for rugby and shows just how difficult it is to get out of the Surrey Leagues. It really prepares you for the London leagues.”

He added: “I was expecting us to do well in this league, top half at least, but I would be pretty pleased if we finished top four – it would be a good place to start.”