STOURBRIDGE could be heading for a Christmas crisis after another crushing defeat in National League Two (North).

Preston Grasshoppers delivered a bitter blow by winning at Stourton Park on an afternoon when victory was vital for the hosts.

After a cagey start where both sides had chances, the visitors scored first on 14 minutes when Sam Stott found a way through for a try and Tom Davidson landed the conversion.

Five minutes later Stour hit back, Jack Lea touched down in the corner from a quick penalty, Rickie Aley slotted an impressive conversion into the wind.

Preston's Matt Lamprey strolled through a nervy home defence from 30 metres and Davidson added the extras to put Preston back in front but a Mark George try and Aley conversion levelled the scores again on 35 minutes.

On the stroke of half time more generous defending from Stour allowed Tyler Spence to touchdown and Davidson made no mistake to make the score at the break 14-21 in Preston's favour.

An Aley penalty on 44 minutes was answered by Preston as the speedy Bradley Cave finished off a flowing counter attack to open up a nine point gap.

Stour picked up the pace and some slick passing allowed Mark Harrison and Joe Heatley to score tries and an Aley conversion gave Stour the lead by three points.

Preston hit back with a period of sustained pressure which led to a converted try for James Gough.

The killer blow was delivered by the impressive Tyler Spence who chased his own kick forward into the goal area for a try which Davidson was unable to convert.

There was further pain for Stour as Aley saw a penalty hit the post.

On 79 minutes Aley slotted home another penalty but, as the home fans prayed for a score from the restart, Preston regained possession and kicked the ball out to finish the game with a final score of 32-38.

Stourbridge travel to strugglers Macclesfield next week knowing defeat would leave them facing the possibility of a New Year relegation battle.