BROMSGROVE bounced back into winning ways this week but made hard work of beating bottom of the table Sutton Coldfield 24-20 to stay third in Midlands One West.

Head coach Dan Protherough admitted: "We seem to have gone a bit flat at the moment and as a result, the match wasn't pretty and we had to win ugly at times in what was an error-riddled display.

"They players don't seem to have the same spark they had earlier in the season and it might be a case of battening down the hatches up to Christmas when we should start getting some players back.

"That said, Sutton were a better side than their position suggested and they played some good stuff at times.

"We made far too many mistakes, gave away too many penalties and we didn't play the referee very well at all and got constantly penalised as a result for our indiscipline.

"It was surprising after a couple of defeats how much confidence had dropped and we made errors that we wouldn't normally make.

"But despite all that, we managed to slug it out, get four tries and five points, which was the objective before the start of the game and keeps us in touch with leaders Burton and Dudley Kingswinford."

It could have been a great deal worse for Bromsgrove at one point as they trailed Sutton 20-12 but managed to get back in front.

Protherough added: "We scored our fourth try with around seven to eight minutes remaining. But Sutton then came back at us and came close to scoring with the last play of the game."

Left wing Sam Bastock opened Bromsgrove's account with a try while No.8 Josh Tomlinson secured a second from a pushover drive.

Right wing Ollie Bache added a third try after Bromsgrove had won good scrummage ball before tight head prop Jamie Atkin went over for the fourth and bonus point try, fly half James Upton supplying a couple of conversions.

Protherough will demand an improvement from his players when they travel to Wolverhampton on Saturday when winger Josh Holt will be back to boost the ranks following his involvement in the Dubai Sevens.