STOKE v HITMEN, PREVIEW

Thursday October 05, 2017
The battle to avoid the National League Wooden spoon hots up this weekend when the Buxton visit one of the other contenders the Stoke Potters.

Manager Jason Pipe is under no illusion how important both meetings at Stoke are in deciding the basement position. Pipe takes up the story

‘Weather permitting, I think virtually everyone who has anything to do with the National League will be casting an eye on what's going on at Loomer Road on Sunday afternoon. It must be quite a while ago, if ever at all, that we've last seen 3 teams battling to avoid that dreaded wooden spoon.

It's a 3 horse race between ourselves, Stoke and the Isle of Wight and how fitting that it's worked out like this, where we get a double header like this coming up, with both ourselves and the IOW going along to Stoke on the same day. This could finally decide who takes the Wooden Spoon this season depending on the scores on the day. With Stoke only gaining 1 point from a possible 6 when last in action, it keeps them involved as well still, which makes it all very interesting!

I wouldn't even like to suggest which way this will go but what I do know is that our lads usually ride better at Stoke against Stoke than what they do on our home circuit against them and they are all really up for this one final push over the line, after some good scores in recent weeks over our last 3 meetings we are unbeaten and it would be great if we can be unbeaten from the last 5 meetings ( quarter of a season ), with a statistic of R5 W4 D1 L0 by the time we've raced our last 2 meetings.
I have every confidence in our riders that we can go and pull off a Victory. There's no reason why we can't. I'm very pleased we have both Matt and Max with us and we know what damage those two can do to teams!’

And it may come down to race points as Pipe explains ‘There are still so many permutations that can happen yet. For one or two examples, if both ourselves and the IOW were to Win at Stoke, then that would have Stoke finishing bottom. If the IOW were to win at Stoke and we were to be beaten, then we'd have to make sure we won our last home meeting by enough points because the race points difference is so very close with only 10 race points separating ourselves and Stoke now and us both currently on 14 league points. IOW only being 1 point above both us with 15 points.

I know it's the wrong end of the table, but it's still an exciting / nervy end to the season for our fans and it keeps an interest going right until the end of the season?

It would be nice for us to take the away win as well as the Isle of Wight beating them and then in our last meeting the week after, at home, go into that meeting with no pressure at all and the boys to just go and be relaxed and enjoy it. I also need to look at bringing in two reserves for our last meeting, at home to Plymouth, as we also now have no Lee Geary that day because of a prior engagement. This gives us the opportunity to maybe have a look at one or two unattached 3.00 point riders, with a view to next season and have a look to see how they'd adapt to the Buxton track.

It would be nice to go in to our last meeting knowing that we won't be collecting the wooden spoon, but knowing how Speedway is, I've a feeling we may have to go in to our last meeting looking for the Win! I just hope the weather stays dry and the fans from all 3 clubs witness two cracking meetings on Sunday.’

Buxton - 1 Matt Williamson 2 Shelby Rutherford 3 Tom Woolley ( C ) 4 Ryan Kinsley 5 Max Clegg 9 6 Sam Woolley 7 Lee Geary

Stoke - 1 Mitchell Davey 2 Ryan Terry Daley 3 Tony Atkin (C) 4 David Wallinger 5 Lee Dicken 6 Paul Burnett 7 Shaun Tedham