STOCKPORT lost their third straight game of the season, a 28-9 defeat by Birmingham and Solihull.
But it was a much improved performance by Stockport who were unlucky to be 7-6 down at half-time.
The Bees added to David Evans’ first-half try with touchdowns from Alexander O’Malley, Steven Leach and Chris Carlin to cap off a frustrating afternoon for the visitors.
“It’s the same old story. We need to be consistent in what we are doing. Key words I would use would be critical moments which we are losing,” said coach Matthew Bebbington.
“There were lots of positives. We kept possession, we had territory and we had chances to score. It’s easy to talk about the negatives, but the biggest thing from the first game of the season till now is that we’ve improved 50-60 per cent.”
Stockport went into this game desperate to kickstart their season after two heavy defeats against Ampthill and Sedgley Park and you could tell they were remaining positive after they had the better of the early exchanges. The consistent Josh Longmore silenced the home supporters after he kicked two penalties to give Stockport a 6-0 lead after 27 minutes.
Stockport were showing a much tighter defence and were sacking the ball well with the pack putting in a great shift, winning numerous scrums.
But then the home crowd had something to cheer about. Evans pounced on a loose ball after Stockport were well tackled and profited from the visitors’ mistake to go over. Fly-half Adam Canning converted to give the hosts the advantage.
After the break, Stockport continued to show great character, but couldn’t find an end product as it was difficult to break down the Birmingham and Solihull defence.
However, as Bebbington said, it was the same old story for Stockport as another error lead to Birmingham and Solihull’s second try.
O’Malley took advantage of a loose ball at the scrum and crossed over from 10 metres out. Canning’s extras stretched the lead to 14-6.
Stockport weren’t going to lie down easily. Replacement prop Oliver Longmore, along with Alistair Green and Elliot Fletcher, made good line breaks to move ‘Port up field and they were eventually awarded a penalty.
The boot of Josh Longmore then reduced the gap to five points.
But straight from the kick-off Stockport were pinned back and the game was over in the space of five minutes as Steven Leach and Chris Carlin scored – both converted by Canning.
The hosts ended the game with 14 men when scrum-half Jack Jolly was sin binned for persistent feeding at the scrum.
“Obviously after the game everyone’s disappointed but the culture is right in the team. You can tell there is no fault in the effort,” added Bebbington. “From the first game to this game we’ve improved and we just need to improve further.”
Stockport’s Alistair Green impressed during their defeat at Birmingham and Solihull