CHINNOR have reached a pivotal time in their season, according to captain Liam Gilbert.

Saturday’s 21-20 home defeat to Shelford saw Chinnor slip to within 12 points of the National 2 South relegation zone, but they are also the same margin below fourth place.

Having won their first four matches, they have lost nine of their last 13.

Gilbert believes Chinnor have the players to push up the league rather than slip into a relegation dogfight, but they need a confidence boost.

“We just need to string some wins together,” he said.

“If we can start doing that, we will be fine.

“Winning is a habit and we need that.

“You do start to worry a bit as you see teams catching up with you.

“Other sides will look at our form, see that we are struggling a bit and look to put more pressure on us.”

Chinnor have been competitive in all their matches, aside from a pre-Christmas 38-0 hammering at Dings Crusaders.

Gilbert said: “There were still lots of positives to take from the Shelford match, but it means it is an even bigger one at Redruth next week.

“I didn’t play at Dings, but I am told this was a lot better a performance.”

Chinnor’s biggest problem has been inconsistency, which suggests a relegation scrap is equally as likely as another top-six finish.

Although a large injury injury list has played its part, Gilbert admits this has still been frustrating.

“We have been hit and miss,” he said.

“We can play Cambridge and put 40 points on them, but we need to put sides like Shelford away.

“We have used 40 players in the first team and need to get back to our core side.”