NEIL Mitchell has warned his Stourbridge side they can't 'go through the motions' if they have any aspirations of finally clambering out of National Two North.

Two near misses in the past two seasons have highlighted to Mitchell just how hard it is to escape the clutches of what is fast becoming one of the most competitive division in the National rugby pyramid.

The Stour director of rugby was unhappy with how his side fell away against Luctonians despite eventually winning 27-18.

"It's already shaping up to be a four-team race but we have to be mindful of points difference."

Stourbridge despite two wins from two games already trail behind leaders Ampthill, Hull Ionians and Sedgley Park.

"Ampthill alreadyu have a 92-point difference better than albeit with only one more league point.

"Against the teams who are just happy to be in this division or would be expected to finish in the lower half we have to be more composed, have a better structure to our game and not be having to defend like we were at the end.

"After the last two seasons when we have gone so close there is expectation it will be the same again but there are four teams I think will be up there and of those only one can go up and the others will be fighting for the other place.

"It could easily come down to points difference."

Mitchell did though offer part of the reason for their second-half struggle the fact nheither of his starting centres finished the game.

"Yes, we did have both centres off and we do have not a massive squad this season.

"When we have these situations against sides in the bottom half, whether it be injuries or a bad referees decision, we have to be able to deal with those issues.

"It's important we have no excuses and we need to put these games to bed early.

"There were a few words afterwards that the players have to get the message that they can't go through the motions against sides in the bottom half."

On Saturday Stourbridge travel to Leicester Lions.