York Rugby League Club are bracing themselves against the roar of the Roughyeds.

The second-placed Wasps put their four game winning run on the line against third-placed Oldham on Sunday in the Second Division match of the day.

The Roughyeds, re-born from the ashes of the defunct Oldham Bears, have received fanatical backing from a legion of supporters on their travels.

And the fallen Super League side are expected to bring a following in excess of 500 to Huntington Stadium for Sunday's crucial fixture, which could see the winners take over at the Second Division summit.

The Wasps are expecting to break through the 1,000 attendance barrier for a league game for the first time in more than two years, when 1,434 saw Hull KR win 54-12.

Crowds at Huntington Stadium this season have reached an average of 650 and the York supporters could find themselves outnumbered by the visiting fans.

But Wasps chief executive Phil Elliott urged the fans to turn out in force and match the vocal backing of the Oldham supporters.Said Elliott: "Sunday's game against Oldham will be a great spectacle - second versus third in the division.

"This York side is just starting to get going and while not firing on all cylinders has still put four straight wins in - two away from home. On paper we have the best side in the division and that fact is beginning to dawn on people.

"Oldham are no slouches and have great away supporters, on average between 500 and 800 at every match, so the atmosphere will seem like an away match for the York lads. We have been seeing over 600 York fans for the home matches prior to the last two away successes and our hope is that we can match and beat the Oldham support."

Elliott added that the club's back-to-back away victories have given them a realistic chance of claiming top spot from Bramley.

"If we win on Sunday, with Bramley having to go to Barrow and Lancashire playing Batley, we could go top of the division. If we don't put it over on Oldham then we go to Bramley and do it in their back yard to go top, it really is that simple," he said.

"Whatever happens on Sunday it promises to be a great game with what we believe to be the best York side certainly of this decade.

It's nice to be at the top of the table for a change and I hope the commitment and hard work of the players is rewarded with vocal support on Sunday. Here's to the missing 500."

Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton declared the club would bring a "minimum of 500" supporters.

"We are delighted with the support, particularly away from home. They are very vocal and it is a help to the players. We have started to hit some kind of form and it is a big game and one we are looking forward to," he said.

"We would like to think we could have one of those three promotion spots. It is very difficult season for us for various reasons but we are more than happy with the start we have me."

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.