ILKLEY are hoping to end their losing run when they take on the North Premier League’s bottom-team at Stacks Field on Saturday.

But the Dalesmen cannot afford to be over-confident as Pocklington registered their only win of the campaign when the sides met earlier in the season.

They triumphed 22-10 in October when Ilkley’s confidence wasn’t as fragile as it is now after three defeats in a row.

Saturday’s 21-3 home defeat by Sandal summed up their recent struggles.

Player-coach Nathan Smith suffered a broken hand, there was another yellow card - JH Johnson being the recipient this time - and there was anxiety in their attacking play.

“I cannot fault the players commitment, effort or defensive work, but things just aren’t going our way,” said head of rugby Rhys Morgan.

“The spirit in the squad is good and we just have to keep working hard so that we are ready to take our chances when they come our way.

“Against Sandal we tried to force the play and that led to silly mistakes and our line-out just didn’t work.”

Morgan is hoping to have prop Ollie Holtham back after he got married last week, while Pete Erskine looks in line for a second-row spot after showing impressive form for the second team.

Experienced scrum half Jack Maplesden, who made his return after injury as a second-half replacement against Sandal, is likely to start this time with Blake Morgan dropping to the bench.

Changes will also have to be made in the backs because Struan Connor, impressive on debut last week, is unavailable