Esher coach Chris  Kibble has not dismissed Esher’s title credentials completely after a 36-19 win over Worthing at Molesey Road ended a run of three straight defeats, writes Pippa Field.

The hosts’ pack dominated as Mike Macfarlane, Tom Cheeseman and Stewart Maguire all touched down, before Worthing conceded a penalty try and replacement Freddie Strange scored late on to seal the win.

It closed the gap with third-placed Fylde, who lost at Tynedale, to just one point as Esher got their promotion push back on track.

Chief executive and former director of rugby Mike Schmid last week accused the squad of having a lack of pride in the shirt after defeats to Old Albanians, Wharfedale and Blackheath.

And Kibble feared recent form could yet cost his side dear.

“We’re just so relieved to knock the bogey away and thankfully get back to winning ways,” he said.

“It’s the old saying about a winning habit, that’s really important for the first team and everyone involved with the club as well. I’m glad we got back on track.

“I just wish we hadn’t had those three [defeats] on the bounce otherwise we’d still be in the dizzying heights of the first-second area.

“This league programme is a marathon, not a sprint.

“We’re starting to hope we can build on what we have got here and kick on through.

“Who knows? It’s a funny old game.”