West Hartlepool’s Dixon hoping to avoid Park strife

West Hartlepool in action against Bradford at Brinkburn last Saturday.
West Hartlepool in action against Bradford at Brinkburn last Saturday.

For the first time this season, West head North as they look to keep their unbeaten run going at the top of North One East.

Percy Park are the hosts – a side which normally provides tricky opposition but which is currently sitting 10 places below West in the league table.

The North Shields club has won both of its home games this season – against Morpeth and Durham City – and West head coach Iain Dixon says: “They’ve been unlucky that their away games have all been against sides who are at the top of the league.

“We know they will be particularity difficult on their own pitch and our challenge is to keep last week’s form going into this game

“We then have a week off to have a rest and get rid of knocks, and then start again with the visit of Wheatley Hills.”

West go into this week’s contest with another round of enforced changes to the side which stormed to a 61-10 win over much fancied Bradford and Bingley last week.

Forwards Jay Corbett and Alex Barker are unavailable as is winger Rob Thorn. Fortunately, prop Tim Blades and winger Will Hilditch have recovered from injury and back row Aaron Myers is also likely to be available for the first time this season.

Dixon says: “Being able to field an unbeaten side rarely happens in rugby and we are no different.

“We have used 23 lads in our five games so far and many more will get their chances before the season is over.”

West squad: Zac Southern, Luke Mallinson, Liam Checksfield, Peter Youll, Will Hilditch, Gavin Painter, Ryan Painter, Adam Coates, Andrew Rollins, Tim Blades, John Bunter, Michael Hogan, Lee Maddison, Dan Boatman (captain), Sam Miller, Aaron Myers, Ross Wood, Paul Wood.