Witches seek first away point

IPSWICH Witches will be looking for their first away Elite League point of the season when they visit high-flying Wolverhampton at Monmore Green tonight (start 7.

IPSWICH Witches will be looking for their first away Elite League point of the season when they visit high-flying Wolverhampton at Monmore Green tonight (start 7.30pm).

Team manager Pete Simmons has confirmed an unchanged side from the one that made a dramatic comeback to beat Peterborough at Foxhall Stadium last Monday afternoon.

“Our quest for points at Eastbourne in our previous away meeting was not helped by the referee,” said Simmons. “But overall it was a good Bank Holiday weekend.

“I targeted six points and we collected five, which moved us away from the bottom of the table.

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“Wolves are going well this year, but they have some weak spots and we must capitalise on them. We won at Monmore Green twice in 2008, and will be looking to do it again.”

Under the revised scoring system Ipswich need to finish within six points on their travels to gain a league point, and they will need everyone firing to do this.

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Simmons will be giving skipper Leigh Lanham as many rides as possible so that he can regain his sharpness having just got back into the team after a serious hand injury sustained in mid-March.

“I think Leigh has already had nine races since his return and when he gets back his race fitness I shall be after seven or eight points a meeting from him,” added Simmons.

Despite Lanham's failure to score freely since his return for the last two meetings, Daniel King is happy to welcome him back.

Morten Risager filled in well for Lanham - before his month loan was up and he moved on to Belle Vue.

But King, 22, refuted suggestions that Ipswich should have kept the Dane saying: “Leigh will come good, his season is now starting and he will need a bit of time.

“It would have been unfair to have left him out after just two complete races before suffering his injuries.”

And King also had praise for Polish newcomer Dawid Stachyra, who has become a big hit with Witches fans after an impressive couple of months.

“Dawid has been brilliant,” added King. “And the way the team is shaping we are going to hammer someone soon.”

Stachyra stays in the same England digs as his riding hero Jarek Hampel, and Simmons says that Hampel's professionalism is rubbing off on the Ipswich reserve.

“Jarek has taken Dawid under his wing and their workshops are together,” said Simmons.

Rising star Tai Woffinden suffered two heavy falls during Wolves' defeat at Foxhall on April 30, but fears that he had broken his thumb proven unfounded and has been able to continue to ride. He is set to take his place in a full strength Wolves side.

Tonight's line-ups

Wolverhampton: P Karlsson, N Klindt, T Woffinden, A Skornicki, F Lindgren, H Stichauer, T Proctor.

Ipswich: J Hampel, L Lanham, T Kroner, D King, P Swiderski, D Stachyra, C Wilkinson.

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