CHESTER hit rock bottom in North One on Saturday for the first time this season after losing to second-placed Beverley at Hare Lane.
The hosts had started the better, scoring in the first minute as they raced into a 10-3 lead thanks to tries from Rhyddian Jones and Simon Love. For an hour they fought hard and their pack, which is one of the light-est in North One, held its own.
But as the forwards began to tire, Beverley took advantage, scoring a penalty try following a scrum collapse and kicking on to make it 17-10.
Eventually, a flurry of scores in the final 10 minutes put an undeserved gloss on the scoreline for the visitors.
Chester director of rugby Steve Donovan said: 'I keep coming out and saying the same things each week, but the problems remain.
'We lost six of our experienced forwards in the summer and while we have replaced them we have struggled to cope.
'The guys are trying their best and you can't criticise them for their play but the pack is too light on bulk and experience.
'They will get there in time but we can't wait because we are losing points all the time.'
Donovan is on the lookout for players who could bolster the pack, although finding fresh blood is not proving easy.
He added: 'Because of the size difference, our pack can only last for about an hour and they start to struggle. I am in the market for some experienced, big forwards to come in and bolster the pack but they aren't at home waiting for my call. Most are playing and why would they want to move here to a bottom of the league club?
'I am prepared to go into the lower leagues to find what I need and give people there a chance to shine.
'We are in real trouble but to be fair to the lads they are still buoyant, still up for it.'
Chester's next match is at Caldy on January 6.
* In South Lancs/Cheshire Four on Saturday, Helsby clocked up only their second win of the season, a 36-17 success for the basement side over visitors Merseyside Police.