HAVING won their last seven home matches in National League Two North, Wharfedale again turn their thoughts to trying to win away from home this weekend.

Wharfedale, who have climbed to 11th in the table –14 points above Scunthorpe in what is likely to be the third relegation berth – are at second-placed Sale, who, ironically, were the last team to triumph at The Avenue when they won 18-13 on November 12.

The Greens haven't won away from home for 15 months since they beat Hull Ionians 16-15 – a run of 18 games.

Wharfedale's head coach James Doherty, who is more stress free these days thanks to his team's run of victories at The Avenue, said: "We are not the only ones to struggle away from home as Otley and Preston Grasshoppers have only won once on the road this season for example, but maybe it is because the surroundings are more comfortable at home and the build-up is more familiar.

"However, maybe it is due to a bit of psychology as well."

Doherty added: "It won't be easy at Sale – they have won 11 out of 12 home games this season, only losing to leaders Caldy – but no-one in the league is expecting us to do anything there so it will give us freedom."

What amounts to a 'free hit' not only comes on the back of seven successive home wins for Wharfedale, but also keeping their line intact in the last three of those victories.

"We have only conceded six points in those games, and I was proud of our defensive display last weekend," said Doherty.

Harrogate were beaten 17-3 after Avenue victories over Tynedale (27-3) and Stourbridge (37-0), and Doherty said of Saturday's derby win: "We were put under serious pressure in our 22 for about ten minutes, but not only did we defend well but we knocked them back.

"We went in 10-0 ahead and they went in at half-time dejected. It was our best defensive spell of the season."

Doherty praised the whole team for that collective effort but also singled out hooker Dan Stockdale, centre Tom Davidson and the back-row trio of Rob Baldwin, Josh Burridge and Lewis Wilson.

It was also James Tincknell's first start of the season, and Doherty added: "It is good to see James getting back to his best after injury because he can be a seriously good player."