Whitchurch face the challenge of shackling Stoke-on-Trent's flair when they venture into the Potteries on Saturday looking to seal their place among the leading lights in the Midlands One West.

Victory this weekend against the Staffordshire men would keep the Reds well on course for a fourth-place finish, while maintaining the pressure on Dudley Kingswinford in third spot.

But coach Scott Sturdy anticipates a tricky assignment against Stoke who, despite lying 14 points below in fifth spot, have proved a free-scoring side this term, particularly at home.

When the clubs met at Edgeley Park back in November, it proved an open affair with the Reds running out 34-27 winners, and they know they will again need to quell their attack-minded rivals who have topped 40 points in each of their last two home outings.

"Stoke is going to be a really challenging game," said Sturdy. "They seem to score 40 points on a regular basis, and are one of those teams that can play from anywhere and are good with ball in hand.

"We will have to defend well, but our defence has been our bedrock this season, while at the same time we will have make sure we take our chances and score tries.

"It's now important we keep the momentum going. If we can win this one, then that be should be enough for us finish fourth at the very least which would have exceeded our expectations at the start of the season.

"This game is like a local derby as Stoke are now our closet rivals in this league. Both committees get on well, so it should be an interesting afternoon."

With six games remaining, Sturdy will be hoping the side can maintain their impetus and finish what has been a creditable season in style.

"We can't win the league and we definitely won go down, so the challenge is to keep everyone motivated in the last few weeks of the season," he said.

"The players need to keep testing themselves, and games coming up against Stoke and Bromsgrove will do that, and will decide how high we finish."

Whitchurch are forced into one key change with fly half Danny Nicholas unavailable, but for most part, the side will be on the same lines as the one that defeated Old Halesonians 36-17 in their last outing two weeks ago – their 15th win in 20 league games.

"We weren't at our best, but it was a decent performance, and you've got to be happy to put 30 points past a team that started the day in fifth," added Sturdy.

The Reds, who can boast the second best defence in league behind leaders Bromsgrove, are one point behind Dudley Kingswinford in fourth, and seven points adrift of second placed Newbold-on-Avon.