For the second time this season the Recreation Ground will stage a top of the table battle on Sunday.

Leaders Whitehaven host second-placed Oldham with a point separating them at the head of affairs in League 1.

On May 25, Haven went head-to-head with London Skolars when they were joint leaders and the Cumbrians came out on top 32-6.

With Haven completing a league double over the Skolars on Saturday, they were able to maintain their one-point advantage at the top.

But this one will be tougher as Oldham have run into form with six wins in the last seven games. They also hold two home decisions over Whitehaven, having beaten them in the league and 1895 Cup.

This should be Haven’s first 1,000 plus crowd of the season as Oldham are expected to bring a healthy following. There were more than 1,000 at Borough Park two weeks ago to see Oldham continue their run at the expense of Workington Town.

Since then, the Roughyeds beat pointless West Wales Raiders 56-6 - although they might have been in trouble to more successful opponents.

Forward Liam Bent was injured in a road accident on his way to the game, while former Haven packman Ben Davies withdrew during the warm up with a calf strain.

Club captain Gareth Owen, who was being rested, was on promotional work selling fundraising tickets for the Supporters’ Club when he was told he was playing.

Paul Crook, another former Haven player was also hastily added to the squad.

Oldham subsequently went into the game with one of their smallest ever benches of four subs in Crook, Owen, Emmerson Whittel and Jamie Greenwood.

Players had to play for long periods out of position, particularly Owen at loose-forward and Whittel at prop.

Head coach Scott Naylor said: “It was particularly important we won this one, given we go to Whitehaven next and if we win up there we’ll go top. We weren’t amazing, but we had a job to do and we got on with it and got it done.

“Luckily, Liam Bent was okay after the car accident. He rang in to say he would be late but I told him to go straight home and rest. You can often get delayed reaction after a bump like that and I want him fully fit for Whitehaven.”