By - Sour
Saturday 23 October sees Newcastle's old foe Leeds make the trip to Broadway West.
The Knight's debut season (08/09) was blighted by the Yorkshiremen in green with negative results of 15-3 and 16-0 in the league, and an 11-6 reversal in the Nigel Wayne Trophy final leaving the Knights unable to add any silverware to their Edinburgh 8's (paper) plate.
This early season match up has all the ingredients of a classic. New faces on both teams bring an element of the unknown, with enough of each team from 09 remains to give both teams enough to game plan around.
Leeds have started their season with a run of 3 losses (to Oldham, Liverpool and York), but as Liverpool and Oldham are currently blazing ahead in first and second place (ahead of Newcastle in third) two of the three might not be surprises. The loss to York does however ask some serious questions about Leeds' promotion credentials.
"I think we were all surprised by the Leeds/York result last week," said defender Ed Davenport. "We expected Leeds to do a bit of a number on them especially as it was [York's] first game, and how well Leeds did in D4 last season."
York has generally been a fit, well organised and well drilled team, usually with a couple of stand-out players. Their historic problems have been early season form, due to their terms starting late, and high player turn over. However, reports from last week suggest that they've hit their top form from the off. It still is a game that Leeds would have been expected to win.
The Tynesiders are confident after a 13-6 win away at Hull, but aren’t getting ahead of themselves. "Last week was a useful run-out, it cleared out some of the cobwebs and gave us and indication of where we need to improve and what some of our strengths will be this season" commented hybrid attackman/ midfielder James Woodrow, "No disrespect to Hull, but if we play like that against Leeds, were likely to come away on the rough end of a similar scoreline. But if we play our sensible attacking game and let the chances develop rather than trying to force them we should be in with a chance of winning what we expect to be a close game as long as we keep it tight in defence.”
Parity is the aim for the early part of this season for the Knights. "If we can stay competitive in the early part of the season and really find out where we are in comparison to the better teams in the division," said Davenport, "we should be able to kick on after the Christmas break and push for a promotion place"
Face-off is at 1400 at Broadway West, followed by your chance to get to know the players as they have a drink-in at the club house after the game
Previews, match reports and general musings from the Toon and beyond.