11.15 Team Update:
Whilst X-rays fortunately show that nothing is broken, following his crash last night, Hammers star Zach Wajtknecht is feeling battered and bruised and has withdrawn from tonight’s Double-header. The Hammers bring in Jack Thomas at reserve for the meeting against Newcastle and Matt Wethers for the clash against Peterborough. Anders Rowe comes in as Number 8
Hammers team boss Will Pottinger admits it’s a “huge night” for the club at their new home of Rye House.
The Hammers left the Arena-Essex Raceway after 34 years in style on Friday night by beating on-form Glasgow 50-40.
But now the Essex boys need to seal their place in the Championship Play-Offs with at least one win at their new venue Hoddesdon against Newcastle and Peterborough in a cracking double header tonight – starting at 7pm.
Pottinger said: “It was always going to be a big weekend for the club. We’ve taken one massive step towards the Play-Offs by beating Glasgow.
“Now I want us to get wins over Newcastle and Peterborough to complete the job. I think one win would probably be enough but we want two to go into the Play-Offs on a high.
“It won’t be easy because we go into the meetings effectively without any home advantage. It will be like racing at a neutral territory”.
“But the boys are naturally up for it. It’s another huge night for the club and fans. It will be very special if we can cap an emotional weekend by making the Play-Offs.”
“We can’t take anything for granted because Peterborough are top of the table right now. But two wins and if we stop the Panthers taking a point could see us finish top”
“That would be some achievement considering on Friday evening we were fifth. That’s why it is such an important double header. It’s going to be a grandstand finish.”
The Hammers have a fitness doubt over Zach Wajtknecht after he took a heavy crash on Friday night while Nick Morris walked away from a nasty pile-up in Heat 15.
Pottinger added: “We’ll obviously have to wait on the verdict for Zach. He’s a key member of the side at reserve.
“We were relieved to see Nick get up from his crash. But they’ll be feeling second hand today which is frustrating. We hope they are both OK obviously.”
- Richard Lawson, 2. Kyle Newman R/R, 3. Adam Ellis, 4. Ben Morley, 5. Nick Morris, 6. Jack Thomas (G), 7. Alfie Bowtell, 8. Anders Rowe
- Ludvig Lindgren, 2. Matej Kus R/R, 3. Ashley Morris, 4. Tero Aarnio, 5. Stuart Robson, 6. Carl Wilkinson, 7. Matthew Wethers.
- Richard Lawson, 2. Kyle Newman R/R, 3. Adam Ellis, 4. Ben Morley, 5. Nick Morris, 6. Matthew Wethers (G), 7. Alfie Bowtell, 8. Anders Rowe
1 Ben Barker 8.19, 2 Emil Grondal, 3 Bradley Wilson Dean, 4 Michael Palm Toft, 5 Ulrich Ostergaard, 6 James Sarjeant (G), 7 Carl Wilkinson (G).
Prices for both meetings:
- Adults: £25 including programme for the first 1,000 fans (18 years plus)
- Concessions: £22 including programme for the first 1000 fans, (65 years plus, disabled, unemployed, students aged 17 years plus)
- Children £2 (8-16 years)
- Under 7s Free.
For fans wishing to attend the Peterborough fixture only, the turnstiles will re-open at Heat 14 of the Newcastle meeting with our usual pricing:
- Adults: £17 (18 years plus)
- Concessions: £14
- Children (8-16): £1
- Programme: £3
Please note it is not possible for fans to pay to attend the Newcastle meeting only. Unfortunately, due to logistics, Rain-off tickets from the recent Newcastle meeting at The Raceway are no longer valid for the Double-Header, but will be accepted for all other Hammers meetings. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Rye House Stadium,
From M25 take junction 25 and travel north up the A10 for approx 8 miles. At the roundabout at town’s edge, go straight over to the next roundabout and bear left into Essex Road, then first left into Pinder Road. Then go left over bridge into Fisherman’s Way. At end, turn right over River Lea bridge and the stadium is on the right next to Rye House Inn.
From Harlow and the A414, exit at signs for Roydon. At T-junction bear left and then immediately right into Rye Road. Go through the waterworks’ toll gate (and the stadium is on the left in one mile.
The post code for Sat Nav purposes is EN11 0EH.
There is free parking within the stadium grounds.
Image: Nick Morris – Credit Rafal Wlosek