Saturday May 13, 2017
PETERBOROUGH are out to put their best showing of the season tonight - in what promises to be their toughest 2017 test yet.

The 'T Balfe Construction' Panthers take on Newcastle Diamonds in an SGB Championship clash at the East of England Arena, 7pm.

They will hit the shale with the aim of stretching an unbeaten home record which already stands at four competitive meetings this term.

And promoter Ged Rathbone is optimistic they can emerge victorious again to climb into the play-off places.

He said: "Improving our home record was a priority for this season and we're well on the way to doing that.

"Being unbeaten in our first four meetings at home is particularly pleasing given the new look to our team this season.

"A couple of them have been very close, but that just makes it more exciting for the fans!

"On a serious note, I'm not too worried if teams leave here in possession of a league point.

"As long as we end the night with three points, I'm a happy man and I'm always confident we can pick results up on the road ourselves.

"We've won three-quarters of our meetings so far in 2017 - that's six of eight in all competitions - and if we can keep that sort of ratio up, we will be bang there in the battle for a play-off place and in with a chance of silverware.

"There is still massive improvement to come from this team as far as I'm concerned, and we know we'll need to be at our best tonight.

"Newcastle are a strong side with a couple of former Peterborough riders who will want to prove a point.

"They're always there or thereabouts come the end of the season, and I don't see any reason why that will change this year."

Newcastle number one Robert Lambert and second string Ash Morris are both past Panthers, while Steve Worrall has impressed at this venue on several occasions.

The Diamonds also have a possible trump card at the reserve is James Shanes, who won the British Under 21 Championship semi-final here last month.

Shanes, who has been performing well for Poole in the SGB Premiership, steps in for serious injury victim Danny Phillips, who suffered a broken back and femur in a crash while racing at National League level last weekend.

A collection for Phillips, who is a popular Peterborough asset, will be carried out during the meeting.

PETERBOROUGH: Tom Bacon, Kenneth Hansen, Jack Holder, Simon Lambert, Ulrich Ostergaard, Paul Starke, Bradley Wilson-Dean.

NEWCASTLE: Connor Coles, Robert Lambert, Ludvig Lindgren, Ash Morris, Lewis Rose, James Shanes (guest), Steve Worrall.

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