Thursday August 09, 2018
PETERBOROUGH head to Lakeside for a top-of-the-table clash in the Championship at Purfleet on Friday (8pm).

The T.Balfe Construction Panthers are one point clear of the Hammers with both sides having six matches remaining in their regular campaigns.

And although they currently have an eleven point margin on the sides outside the top four, Panthers know that they must keep up their impressive away form over the coming weeks – with five or their fixtures during the run-in being on the road

The trip to the Arena-Essex Raceway is clearly the toughest of those which remain, and the two sides are likely to become very familiar in the closing weeks of the season.

Friday’s fixture is a league match, but dates still have to be confirmed for two-legged KO Cup and Championship Shield clashes between the clubs.

Lakeside’s home form is as strong as ever, and no visiting side has yet taken a league point away from there, with a 39-point total achieved by Sheffield the best effort so far in the Championship.

Panthers bettered that in their Shield group match at the start of the campaign when they went down 50-40.

There are two changes to the regular Peterborough line-up, with Paul Starke coming in to guest for the injured Ulrich Ostergaard, whilst Connor Mountain is in at reserve for Emil Grondal who has a Danish racing commitment.

Mountain has impressed on his previous visits to Purfleet this season when he was in the Ipswich team, having scored 10 there for the Witches in April and then 12 in May.

Panthers’ No.1 Scott Nicholls guested for Ipswich at the same venue last week and scored 13 points from five rides.

The Hammers, meanwhile, are at full strength with Kyle Newman now back in action having been ruled out for the Panthers’ 52-38 win in the reverse fixture in late June.

Manager Carl Johnson said: “We’ll go there with the same attitude again, we’ll be looking to pick up a point and anything more than that will be a bonus.

“The draw against Ipswich does put a bit of pressure on us because we’ve dropped some points at home, and we go into Friday level on meetings with Lakeside.

“It’s the only track we’ve been to where we’ve lost by ten points, but fingers crossed we can get something out of it, and if we can put them under some pressure early on then it will be interesting to see how they react to it.

“I don’t think they’ve been under too much pressure at home, and hopefully we can do that.

“The important thing is being in the top four, and if we’re in there we know anything can happen in the play-offs.

LAKESIDE: Richard Lawson, Zach Wajtknecht, Adam Ellis, Kyle Newman, Nick Morris, Ben Morley, Alfie Bowtell.
PETERBOROUGH: Scott Nicholls, Simon Lambert, Bradley Wilson-Dean, Michael Palm Toft, Paul Starke, Connor Mountain, Tom Bacon.

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