STOKE have a busy weekend ahead as they firstly make the short trip into Derbyshire to take on the new look Buxton Hitmen at Hi-Edge raceway on Sunday (3pm) and then travel to Perry Barr to face back to back league Champions Birmingham on Bank Holiday Monday (3pm).
The Potters firstly though travel to Hi-Edge where the winter as seen several changes in the Hitmen side with the switch of Matt Williamson from Belle Vue to lead the Buxton line-up and he will receive solid support from another newcomer in Ellis Perks who joins having spent last season with Eastbourne. Lee Dicken returns to the Hitmen having joined during the middle of last season while Tom Woolley who has been named skipper by Hitmen team boss Jason Pipe returns having spent last season with the Belle Vue Colts. Shelby Rutherford also returns for a second season and had started to hit some form towards the end of last season before suffering an injury and at reserve Carl Basford and Lee Geary complete their team, Geary being more than capable of scoring well at reserve.
A.R. Richards Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey said “We will need to make the gate up at Hi-Edge which is a tight little circuit and it can sometimes be difficult to pass on. We will give them the respect any team would get on their home track and they have some good riders in Matt Williamson and Ellis Perks who have proven they can ride Buxton well. We have a couple of ex-Hitmen riders in our side and we are looking to get a result there on Sunday.”
Stoke name an unchanged side from the narrow defeat at home to Belle Vue last weekend and have several ex-Buxton riders in the line-up in Luke Priest, David Speight and last week’s top scorer from the Potters David Wallinger.
Potters number one Mitchell Davey commented “If we can keep making starts and everyone is firing then we will be in there with a chance of winning. Buxton is a different track to ours and Birmingham’s on Monday and is a tricky place to go, last season I went there with Coventry and we managed to turn them over but they have strengthened this year with the likes of Matt Williamson and Ellis Perks so they will not be a push over by any means but there is no reason why we cannot get a result on Sunday. There are a lot of people that have written us off and we are quite happy to be the underdogs in meetings that suits us down to the ground.”
BUXTON: Matt Williamson, Shelby Rutherford, Tom Woolley (Captain), Lee Dicken, Ellis Perks, Lee Geary, Carl Basford
STOKE: Mitchell Davey, Shaun Tedham, Ryan Terry-Daley, Tony Atkin (Captain), Luke Priest, David Speight, David Wallinger