Michael Lee is calling on fans to turn out in force and get behind the Mildenhall Fen Tigers after the club made it through to their second successive National League play-off final.
Despite losing the second leg of their play-off semi-final 45-44 to the Isle of Wight at Smallbroook Stadium on Tuesday, the Fen Tigers secured a showdown with the Dudley Heathens in the final after triumphing 102-81 on aggregate.
The Suffolk side will travel to Monmore Green on Tuesday night for the opening leg of the play-off final before entertaining the West Midlands side at Mildenhall Stadium 24 hours later (Wednesday, October 24).
“We are giving fans plenty of notice as we want to see the stadium packed for that second leg on Wednesday as it promises to be a cracking meeting,” said co-promoter Lee.
One man who will definitely be missing from the Fen Tigers’ line-up for both meetings is captain Lewis Blackbird.
Although it was initially stated that Blackbird would be out for the rest of the season after breaking his collarbone in two places while riding for Premier League Leicester earlier in the month, the 25 year old claimed on Sunday that there may have been an outside chance of a surprise return.
But those hopes of making a quicker-than-planned comeback have been dashed following a trip to injury specialist Brian Simpson on Monday.
“Brian told Lewis on Monday that if he was to ride he would be pushing his luck,” said Lee. “Brian said riding wouldn’t damage it but the pain would be too much, and it would only take one fall to set the healing process back further.”
Having thrown away meeting winning points at the Isle of Wight on Tuesday, Lee has warned his side that they cannot let it happen against a Heathens side which will welcome back number one Adam Roynon to the fold following his return from injury.
“We cannot afford to drop points like we did at the Isle of Wight as they are the sort of seven or eight points that could cost us the play-off,” said Lee.
“With the exception of Byron Bekker, they will be back at full strength with Adam back in the side. But I can tell you that all the Mildenhall boys are fired up for the final. We will be going there up with every intention to win, but if we do loose I would hope we can keep within eight points of them.”
Tuesday promises to be a long evening for both sets of riders and fans with the two clubs set to battle out in the second leg of the National League Knockout Cup following the completion of the opening leg of the play-off final.
Although Mildenhall look to have one hand on retaining the trophy following a 61-33 win in the first leg, Lee is taking nothing for granted.
“Dudley fell to pieces in the first leg at our place and I don’t think that will happen again,” said Lee.
“This is speedway and anything can happen but I would be disappointed if we threw our lead away.”
Fans are reminded tapes go up for both meetings at 7.30pm.