PANTHERS v SCUNTHORPE, PREVIEW

Friday October 12, 2018
PETERBOROUGH are four men down - but still fighting on as they host Scunthorpe at the East of England Arena on Saturday (7pm).

The T.Balfe Construction Panthers face a major recovery mission if they are to book a place in the KO Cup Final as they trail the Scorpions by 28 points from the first leg.

On a make-or-break weekend, it could be the final track action of 2018 at Alwalton – and possibly the last-ever meeting at the venue as owner Ged Rathbone has recently put the club up for sale.

That will also depend on the outcome of Sunday’s Championship play-off semi-final second leg at Rye House, where Panthers need to beat Lakeside by three or more points to make the Final.

Scott Nicholls, Michael Palm Toft, Bradley Wilson-Dean and Tom Bacon, who all helped Panthers to top the league table, are all ruled out by injury – ironically, none of them sustained whilst racing for Peterborough!

But Panthers have recruited two strong heat-leader guests for Saturday in Ricky Wells and Thomas Jorgensen, whilst the experienced Carl Wilkinson slots in at reserve alongside free-scoring skipper Simon Lambert.

The Scorpions are unchanged from last week’s first leg, meaning Kyle Howarth continues as guest replacement for injured No.1 Josh Auty.

Panthers manager Carl Johnson said: “You can never say never, and we certainly won’t give up on trying to win the tie.

“Even if it’s mathematically impossible we’ll still keep going for all 15 heats, and although turning round 28 points is a big ask, it’s not impossible as Workington showed recently against Edinburgh.

“The main thing is we have to start quickly, look to hit Scunthorpe hard early on, and see what happens.

“We don’t want the season to end this weekend, we want to hopefully keep going for another couple of weeks, and it’s down to us to turn things around.

“We have two big matches coming up, two massive meetings, and we need everybody on it. You never want to lose, and the riders will all be up for it.”

PETERBOROUGH: Ricky Wells, Emil Grondal, Bradley Wilson-Dean R/R, Thomas Jorgensen, Ulrich Ostergaard, Carl Wilkinson, Simon Lambert.
SCUNTHORPE: Kyle Howarth, Stefan Nielsen, Jason Garrity, Jake Allen, Steve Worrall, Danny Phillips, Gino Manzares.


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