ROSSENDALE PREVIEW

Published: 13/03/2014

By D Whittle

Huddersfield face Rossendale as they look to return to winning ways, in a crucial fixture in the push for promotion.

After last weekend’s defeat to leaders Stockport, 'Field are as fired up as ever and look forward to challenge this weekend.

Manager Lee Paxman said: “We’re ready for a battle and we hope that if we put the work in, the result will take care of itself". 

'Field have had to wait for their chance to avenge Rossendale for their early season defeat, with the original fixture being postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. 

Paxman said: “They had a good win at Lockwood but we felt we were the better side. The challenge is now to prove that right by turning them over in their own back yard". 

'Field name changes to the team beaten last week and in anticipation of a dynamic Rossendale outfit. 

The unavailable Anthony Stringwell is replaced by the popular Edward Birkhead, while Giles Hetherington drops to the bench, as 'Field look to gain extra yardage going forward.

This means that Thomas Van Rooyen plays on the wing, with Elliot Hodgson returning to full-back and Tom Hodson back in at fly-half.

Paxman said: “Giles has been excellent for us this year, but we feel with Tom playing a little flatter and with the forwards working round the corner this will help speed up the attack.

“We also hope to see a little more of Elliot at full-back, there is no doubt he is the most exciting runner in our team, we just need to see more of him. Hopefully at fullback he can make that happen".

The changes to 'Field’s side clearly show the strength in depth that they have, but also that they aren’t afraid to mix things up.

In the knowledge that winning their games in hand will put them back at the top, 'Field will hope to close the gap quickly, easing the pressure on a congested fixture list.

But Paxman knows that this will be one of the tougher tests of the season, as their hosts have a number of key players returning from injury.

He said: “Rossendale have a lot of experience and we hope to stretch the game as we hunt for a much needed win to get the promotion challenge back on track. 

“Bonus points are helpful but winning is key, we can win promotion without any more bonus points, so long as we win everything".

Currently sitting six points behind Stockport, 'Field know that a win will pull them to within one or two points behind with two games in hand. 

There is no doubt that this is a must win for Huddersfield, in their quest to finish the season as National League III North champions. 

Huddersfield side to face Rossendale

1. Alex Battye
2. James Davies
3. Edward Birkhead
4. Nick Rhodes
5. Gavin Rhodes
6. Bob Sykes
7. Ben Hoyle
8. Nick Sharpe (c)
9. Joel Hinchliffe
10. Tom Hodson
11. Mike Clark
12. Tom Owen
13. Ben Mitchell
14. Tom Van Rooyen
15. Elliot Hodgson

Subs:
16. Gareth Richardson
17. Ross Thornton
18. Giles Hetherington

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