Okes were forced into yet more changes as the average age of the first team continues to drop.
Both sides were missing lots through injuries etc, but it was still a big ask for an inexperienced Okes outfit to take an unbeaten home record after only two away wins all season.
The first twenty minutes, on a very sticky pitch, saw two sides struggle to put much structure or continuity together. Okes defended well until the first try arrived on 29 minutes.
The visitors were already down to 14 after a verbal discussion with the ref was punished. Okes would go on to suffer two more player yellows, one more for dissent, and one for failing to roll away at an attacking ruck. The visitors also lost their touch judge /coach for showing disapproval with another decision. Only 7-0 down and with ten minutes of the half remaining, Okes were still in the fight despite not having much ball to play with. Then ten minutes ensued where missed tackles in the wide midfield channels proved very costly.
The home side ran in three converted tries as the Okes failed to cover effectively, and at 28-0 the home bonus point was already in the bag.
Okes responded and managed a try from close range after initial strong work by the ever willing Richie Friend, typically robust and committed throughout on his 100th first team appearance. Matt Coles, forced to play out of position in the second row, proved unstoppable from close in and Luke Simmons added the extras. So not completely out of reach at the break, Okes still had hopes and started the second forty brightly. An early catch and drive ended with Jack Rutley crossing to reduce the margin further, but the decisions then started to go badly against the visitors.
Yellows ensued and the Okes defence became too stretched, allowing the hosts to plunder two more tries out wide to take the margin back to 24 points.
Okes kept coming, but every time they got into a threatening position a penalty would allow the home side to clear the danger. Eventually, on 77 minutes the powerful Coles crossed for his brace. With Simmons now also off the pitch there were no extras but Okes still had a chance of a four try bonus point. They very nearly got it, but an attacking lineout at the death missed its target and the chance was gone. Another defeat on the road and it means Okes drop into the bottom two in the table - but there were still some positives to take.
“Unfortunately, we switched off for 10 minutes, let Lydney in for four tries and couldn't get rein them back in,” said skipper Tom White.
Next week sees the visit of Matson for a must win game, as the Okes strive to escape the bottom two places. KO 2.30 PM.