Hammers know Swindon will be stronger
LAKESIDE Hammers take on the leaders of the Sky Sports Elite League, the Swindon Robins, at the Arena-Essex Raceway tonight (8pm). The Hammers are currently in fourth place in the league table with all their remaining five matches to be raced at home.
LAKESIDE Hammers take on the leaders of the Sky Sports Elite League, the Swindon Robins, at the Arena-Essex Raceway tonight (8pm).
The Hammers are currently in fourth place in the league table with all their remaining five matches to be raced at home.
Only the top four at the end of the league campaign progress into the play-offs, which will ultimately decide who will be the 2009 league champions.
Last season the Essex-based club fell at the last hurdle when losing out to the Poole Pirates in the play-off final. This year the Pirates appear to be well out of contention for a top four finish with Swindon and Wolverhampton leading the way.
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It is likely that the Hammers will be fighting for one of the remaining two places along with Coventry and Peterborough. Wins in all of the remaining home fixtures for the Hammers will, therefore, be vital if they are to claim one of the play-off positions.
Friday's match against Swindon will not be easy for the Hammers, despite having already knocked the Wiltshire club out of this season's Knockout Cup competition and also having beaten them twice at their Abbey Stadium. On those occasions the Robins were not at full strength due to either injuries or rider unavailability.
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Tonight's match, however, is expected to see a strong Robins side visit the Arena-Essex Raceway and they will, no doubt, be looking for revenge.
Their only change will see a guest at reserve to replace their doubling up duo of Ryan Fisher and Mark Lemon, who are both required to race for their respective Premier League clubs. Their official No.8, Cory Gathercole, is also unavailable due to Premier League commitments.
The Hammers will go into the match with some renewed confidence following last Friday's win against the Belle Vue Aces. That win saw a return to form of the Hammers two Finnish riders, Kauko Nieminen and Joonas Kylmakorpi. Nieminen followed up that performance by winning his National Title the following day back in Finland.
The Hammers destiny is very much in their own hands at the moment and, with the support of their large band of loyal fans, they will be looking to win all of their remaining fixtures, although they may still be able to achieve their goal by not claiming the maximum points available to them in all of their remaining five fixtures.
Tonight's match will see the introduction of the 'Kids for a Quid' scheme, which will give children between the ages of six and 16 admission to our meetings during August for just �1. Children under six will continue to receive free entry provided they are accompanied by a paying adult.