Showdown at the Showground as Hammers come to town

PETERBOROUGH’S dramatic late-season run enters a crucial phase with four matches in an eight-day spell – and a win is essential against Lakeside at the Showground on Monday (7.30pm).

PETERBOROUGH’S dramatic late-season run enters a crucial phase with four matches in an eight-day spell – and a win is essential against Lakeside at the Showground on Monday (7.30pm).

The Readypower Panthers have stunned Swindon and Poole with away wins at both venues in recent weeks, and those results have propelled them into play-off contention as the Elite League’s form side.

Monday’s match is followed by a trip to Birmingham on Wednesday and then home-and-away clashes with Coventry on Friday and Monday, and a healthy return of points across those fixtures could see the battle go right down to the wire.

Lakeside currently hold the fourth and final play-off place and are twelve points ahead of the Panthers – but the Hammers have just one home match to go, compared to Panthers’ four, so if both sides take maximum points at home Peterborough can overhaul their opponents with better away results, although Poole and King’s Lynn also remain very much in contention.


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Lakeside’s away record shows two wins so far, both achieved in May at Poole and Belle Vue, but on their other seven road-trips they have failed to score a point.

However, any team led by the likes of Peter Karlsson and Davey Watt has to be respected, the evergreen Karlsson being a former Panthers rider, and track knowledge should be no problem for the visitors who also include Piotr Swiderski, Lewis Bridger and Richard Lawson – all of whom have had spells of varying lengths with Peterborough.

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Lawson could have a key part to play at reserve where the Panthers, who are at full-strength, will be hoping for another bumper haul of points from the sensational Patrick Hougaard.

Meanwhile for in-form skipper Kenneth Bjerre it is an even bigger week, as his schedule includes the Grand Prix Challenge at Poole on Saturday, where a top three place will secure him a place back in the series for next season.

Panthers co-promoter Trevor Swales said: “The target is undoubtedly the play-offs now. It may be in the distance at the moment but if we can get one more away win and then not slip up at home, it could happen.

“I can see our run being similar to the Coventry revival of 2010, three weeks ago you wouldn’t have given us a chance but with one more away win we’ll really be pushing.

“It’s vital we get maximum points on Monday, and if we can do the same from our other meetings this week we’re right in there. All we can do is keep winning, and that’s what we know we’ve got to do.”

PETERBOROUGH: Kenneth Bjerre, Ryan Fisher, Norbert Kosciuch, Krzysztof Buczkowski, Joonas Kylmakorpi, Dakota North, Patrick Hougaard.

LAKESIDE: Peter Karlsson, Sebastian Ulamek R/R, Piotr Swiderski, Lewis Bridger, Davey Watt, Kevin Doolan, Richard Lawson.

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