Poor execution and straying from the tactics contributed to Ampthill’s 17-5 loss away at Plymouth Albion in National One on Saturday.
The 240-mile journey was the A’s longest away trip of the season and Plymouth’s squad had nine changes in a bid to turn around their poor start.
Playing against the wind and slope in the first half, Amps turned around 12-0 behind and were unable to take advantage during the second period as a combination of the hosts’ committed defence and an inability to turn possession into tries left them pointless.
The visitors started well, dominating territory until a missed kick to touch from a penalty on the half-way line saw Albion move the ball to midfield where a line break from a missed tackle led to a 16th-minute unconverted try.
Amps responded well and continued to have the better of possession but multiple attacking positions were wasted with failing lineouts or wrong options taken by the backs.
Another lost lineout inside Albion’s 22 saw a long kick and chase result in an error as the clearance was sliced to touch.
The hosts launched a well-executed catch-and-drive from a lineout which was illegally brought down resulting in a yellow card.
A man down, A’s were unable to prevent Albion’s next move, as they scored a converted try to make it 12-0 at the break.
Playing with the elements in the second half should have been to the Amps advantage but the lack of game control got worse with the introduction of replacements.
A’s did manage to close the gap with a forwards try through Spencer Sutherland when Albion were down to 13 players but they conceded another near the end to leave the final score 17-5.
Head coach Paul Turner said: “I couldn’t fault the effort but dreadful execution, complete lack of accuracy and game control led to a poor display and a deserved defeat.
“We need to stick to the gameplan.”
This Saturday, seventh-placed Ampthill host Blackheath, in sixth.