SANDBACH slumped to another defeat in the Euromanx South Lancs and Cheshire League Division One but captain Ray Jones insists they are not out of their depth.
His side now lie third from bottom and have struggled to find form all season. A disappointing 15-8 defeat at Wirral on Saturday has done nothing to ease concerns.
But Jones says the side can turn things around and can stay in the division they were promoted into last season.
He said: 'I don't feel we are in the wrong place. We still have a positive points score and are losing games by narrow margins. We have got to start winning the close games and I am sure we can do it.
'We were decent on Saturday but very poor in the rucks. We were getting there second all the time and that brings pressure. It was disappointing but something we can identify and rectify.'
The visitors started slowly and Wirral were quick to get off the mark. Power play saw the home side drive round the sides and find and extra man, who scored in the corner. The try was converted.
Crewe responded and found an extra gear. Nice play among the ball saw the over-lapping Tim Jones receive the ball wide and dive over. The try was not converted.
Sandbach stayed on top for the remainder of the first half and camped in Wirral's final third. A penalty by Andy Rollings sent them in at the break 8-7 up.
Hopes were high that the away team could continue to dominate, but the game swayed again. Tom Hughes struggled to find touch with his boot and the pressure mounted.
Sandbach bravely held out until 20 minutes to go, when Wirral made the breakthrough as a second over-lapper found space and made no mistake. The try was converted to complete the scoring.
Sandbach's third team beat Wirral 36-22 with a battling display.
Mark Read opened the scoring with a penalty but the home side hit back with a well-worked try, and soon extended their advantage after Sandbach's defence was penetrated again.
Deft hands from scrum-half Jason Keeble saw Andy Green dash down the right wing to score, but Wirral replied with a lovely passage of play resulting in a try.
The end-to-end theme continued as Sand-bach's Simon Price crashed over the line to end the half 17-15 in Wirral's advantage.
Sandbach went 22-15 down before Steve Sutton fed Frank Boughey, who scored a try which was later converted.
The floodgates began to open as Mark Read was the next to score for Sandbach, breaking through several tackles to score. The try was again converted by Sutton who later fed colt Andy Pipe for the final try. Sutton made no mistake again as Sandbach ran out 36-22 winners.
Southport seconds were unable to field a team against Sandbach seconds.
Sandbach have been drawn at home to Caldy in the fourth round of the Thwaites Cheshire Cup on November 27 or 28.