| BIRMINGHAM saw their home campaign get off to a frustrating start as they were condemned to a 56-37 defeat against Lakeside at Perry Barr. |
Having slipped to away losses at Wolverhampton and Eastbourne, the new-look Selco Brummies' early season troubles continued as they were outdone by an inspired Hammers side.
Some slow starting left the home team with an uphill task - although they were given a glimmer of hope when the impressive Adam Skornicki battled to a tactical ride win in heat ten.
A further heat advantage in the very next race - sparked by a classy race win for Ben Barker - pulled Birmingham within seven entering the closing stages to keep their chances alive.
Yet Lakeside recorded 5-1s in heats 13 and 14 to restore their advantage and leave the Brummies still looking for their first points of the 2014 season.
Team boss Jack Lee admitted he was expecting more from his side as their disappointing form continued.
Said Lee: "We're extremely disappointed - to lose by such a margin at home is really bad and we've got to do something about it quickly.
"The riders we've got should be doing better than that and they've got to work on their starts because we were just second best out the gate all night.
"It's not the performance we were looking for at all in our first home meeting but we've got to try and pick ourselves up and hopefully do a lot better next week against Coventry because we certainly need to."
Polish ace Adam Skornicki provided the main source of points with a determined effort from the No.2 spot, whilst Ben Barker and Daniel Nermark also recorded race wins.
Reserves Paul Starke and Simon Lambert fought hard to make solid contributions - yet heat leaders Danny King and Eddie Kennett endured difficult evenings on what was a tough night for the Brummies.
BIRMINGHAM 37: Adam Skornicki 13, Ben Barker 9, Paul Starke 5, Daniel Nermark 4+1, Simon Lambert 2+2, Danny King 2, Edward Kennett 2.
LAKESIDE 56: Davey Watt 13+1, Mikkel Bech 11, Adam Ellis 10+2, Richard Lawson 10+1, Peter Karlsson 6+2, Lewis Bridger 5+1, Ben Morley 1.
Pictures: JEFF DAVIES
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