Match Preview: North Wales Crusaders v Hemel Stags

North Wales Crusaders head coach Clive Griffiths has called for his side to be more clinical in this Sunday’s encounter with Hemel Stags.

The Wrexham-based outfit have failed to punish teams in recent weeks and will need to change that as they head in to their final four fixtures of the league campaign.

“Hemel have a lot more striking power than Gateshead (who Crusaders narrowly beat 24-20 last weekend) and will be up for the game after beating us at their place”, Griffiths said.

“We’ll have to be a lot more clinical with our chances, but the thing is that every team goes through these spells, like a striker in football may go through a spell without scoring, and we know it’s going to come right at some point – you’ve just got to look at the Rochdale game to see that.

“It’s still all to play for now, but I can’t see Oldham losing another game so that means we’ve got to win four out of four.

“Our home support is going to be crucial against Hemel and Oxford as we know we’ve got to win all of our games.”

Other than Stuart Reardon being set to miss the rest of the season, Griffiths has no other injury problems.

Meanwhile, Hemel Stags coach Troy Perkins knows that his side have to be fully prepared against Crusaders if they want to take anything out of the game.

He said: “A couple of weeks ago we recognised that we’d put ourselves in a good position for a top four finish and we’re aiming for that, but we’ve got three really tough games ahead.

“If we don’t play with the intensity needed then there’s every chance of results going against us. We’ve got to be on the ball and not take anything for granted.

“Crusaders are probably the best supported team at home. I’m sure Clive will have them on the right track as they look to claw back first position. There’s a lot at stake for both teams.”

Stags’ Danger Man – BJ Swindells

Swindells, who is the club captain, has been involved with the Stags for a number of years and featured in several of their title-winning sides in the amateur game.

After making the step up to the semi-professional game with Hemel, he has continued to be an important part of the side, weighing in with five tries and plenty of goals so far in 2013.

Form Guide – Hemel Stags (WWWLLW)

The Stags head in to Sunday’s game in fine form after three victories on the bounce and currently sit third in the Championship One table.

After condeming Crusaders to their first defeat of the league campaign, Hemel lost their next two – albeit by narrow margins – against Scorpions and Oldham, but they have picked up form since with success over Rochdale, Gloucestershire and Oxford.

Fan Information

You can still order tickets in advance either from the Glyndwr University Sports Centre or online (here). Tickets are priced at £12 for adults, £7 for concessions and £5 for children, with U7s free.

Alternatively, you can pay on the gate on matchday at the price of £14 for adults, £8 for concessions and £5 for children.

Our matchday programme will also be on sale for £2; this weekend’s edition will feature our Northern Rail Bowl final victory, High Achievers 2013 and much more.

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