• Gene Carter


Reading Racers look to make it two wins on the bounce on Wednesday when they take on the Milton Keynes Knights.

The Racers travel to the Knights adopted home Birmingham - the scene of a heavy defeat to the Bulls a few weeks ago - knowing a win will see them join the 3 teams currently above them in the Midland and Southern Development League table, although Birmingham, Exeter and Carmarthen will all have raced 2 matches compared to the Racers' four.

Reading regular Rhys Laker lines up once again after a confidence boosting 5 points plus 3 bonuses against Weymouth last week. They also see squad member Kieran Douglas debut for them although they are without regular Nick Laurence. With no squad members able to cover for the captain the Racers managers have turned to Mildenhall reserve Elliott Kelly, who recently added his name to the rider pool.

Co-team manager Mat Stevens said: " We chatted with Elliott and his manager Jason after the British Under 21 semi final at Somerset, and he then contacted me saying he was keen for extra rides to augment his NL racing, so we thought we'd make use of his offer".

Racers' star of 2019 so far Sam Norris was lined up to be the 4th member of the team but has had to withdraw.

Carter commented: "It's the only drawback to having such young riders in the team, - Norris is 15 years old - they rely on others, usually their Dads to get them around, and these Dads have to hold down jobs. Occasionally they can't get the time off, but youngsters are one of the things this league is all about, so it's just part of the game."

Reading have once again turned to 2017 rider William O'keefe, who has declined a place in their squad as he feels he can't commit to all matches, but has managed admirably to get them out of trouble in recent weeks.

The Knights are led by another ex Racer Stephen Whitehouse, and also include Craig Osborne, who pulled on a Reading race jacket in their first match of this new era, a challenge match against Weymouth in 2016. The rest of the team are very much an unknown quantity to the Reading bosses who have never seen either Luke Muff or Sam Boon in action.

The Knights v Racers match will follow the Birmingham v Sheffield NL match at the Perry Barr stadium.

Wednesday's teams:

MK Knights; 1. Luke Muff, 2. Craig Osborne, 3. Sam Boon, 4. Stephen Whitehouse.

Reading Racers;

1. Kieran Douglas, 2. William O'keefe, 3. Elliott Kelly, 4. Rhys Laker.

Pics: Kieran Douglas (by Steve Brock) and Rhys Laker in action (by Tony Burcheĺl).

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