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Scott Rhodes demands maximum points for York Acorn
SCOTT RHODES says it is vital his York Acorn ARLC side pick up maximum points this weekend – to make hay before some key players become unavailable.
The Blue and Golds dropped to fifth in National Conference League division one following defeat to promotion rivals Castleford Lock Lane last time out, but remain level on points with three teams above them and only two off top spot with a game in hand on leaders Hunslet Warriors.
Victory at lowly Stanley Rangers this Saturday (2.15pm) would keep them very much in the title hunt but they will then lose the services of captain Tom Hill for a few weeks due to his honeymoon and several team-mates will be unavailable next weekend while attending his wedding – with little chance of the club being able to rearrange their match that day at home to Rochdale Mayfield.
They have already lost Aaron Thompson and now Matt Withers (knee) for the rest of the season, and Martin Wood has left the club after moving back to Leeds.
“We’ve got to go to Stanley and win,” said Rhodes. “It will be three or four weeks before we get anything like our full team back on the pitch. We’ve struggled a bit when we haven’t had it, and we’ll miss Tom. He’s our leader and he does a lot for the team.
“It’s vital we get the points this weekend. It’s a must-win game.”
Acorn were without Hill, Jordan Hyde, Anthony Chilton and Matthew Woods against Lock Lane but they will be back this weekend, although they could again be without Mike Embleton due to the veteran forward’s work commitments, while Leigh Rientoul and Tim Elliott are also doubtful.
“We’re hoping to bounce back after the defeat and I’m confident we will do. We’ve got a number of key players back and I would say we’re favourites,” said Rhodes.
“We missed them last time and it showed in our performance. We didn’t deserve anything from the game. We were really relaxed before the game but didn’t show up. They dominated in the forwards and were the better team on the day.
“We’re looking for improvements and we’ll go all out for victory. We’ll then patch the team up and see where we go.”
Winless Heworth host mid-table Normanton Knights in division two with club spokesman hoping the team can remain competitive throughout.
He said: “We’ve got to try to compete for the full 80 minutes. We’ve been competing pretty well in a lot of games for 40 minutes or so. In the last match we were in front at various points but fell away before half-time. We’ve got to keep it going for the 80.
“Normanton were doing very well but seem to have put some good results together, with a couple of good wins after a massive defeat by Waterhead. We should be able to give them a good game.”
Normanton also provide the opposition for York Lokomotive in the Yorkshire Men’s League, with the Lokos on home soil against the Knights’ second string. High-flying Acorn ‘A’ go to Dewsbury Celtic ‘A’, also in a cross-group game. Heworth ‘A’ do not have a fixture.