BOURNEMOUTH travel to Sutton & Epsom on Saturday for a bottom-of-the-table clash that could come to define their season.

Lions remain rooted to the foot of the National Two South table, six points and a place behind this weekend’s opponents, after a devastating last-minute defeat at the hands of Leicester Lions on Saturday, succumbing to a penalty with the final kick of the game.

And with last week’s results elsewhere not being kind - near rivals Sutton & Epsom, Westcliff and Worthing all picked up points - the gap at the bottom is in danger of widening still further if Bournemouth cannot claim victories in at least three of their four fixtures leading to Christmas.

Despite the league position, performance director Richard Sharp sees only positive signs for the future in the Leicester performance, even in defeat.

“Week on week we can see the squad building in confidence having been on the end of some heavy losses, and we are seeing more composure when we go in front,” he said.

And Sharp will look for more of the same from the players who dug in so hard last time, only to suffer the cruel finish.

He pointed to the youth that was on show last week, singling out prop George Cottrell and flanker Ben Russell for special praise in confronting a much more experienced Leicester pack, an experience from which they will have learnt a huge amount.

Captain Joe Rees reached 150 league appearances in that match, and his leadership will be critical in the coming run of fixtures.

Newly-appointed head coach and player, Mike Pope, will enjoy playing inside the flourishing centre partnership of Scott Chislett and Freddie Gleadowe.

And as ever, they will rely on the metronomic boot of Grant Hancox to keep the scoreboard moving.

Unforced errors have been the story of the season so far for Lions, and Sharp feels that if his team can maintain concentration for a full match then there will be no stopping them this weekend.

“The errors really hurt us last week, kept Leicester in the game,” he said.

“We are really looking forward to Sutton & Epsom. If we keep putting in these performances the wins will come.”