DEESIDE DRAGONS return to action on Saturday when they go to Bradford to face a Bulldogs side who are looking to keep the pressure on top of the table Hull.

Following last week’s 4-2 reverse to third placed Altrincham, the Bulldogs now find themselves a point off the league leaders having played a game more.

The Dragons, meanwhile, go to West Yorkshire looking to end a four-game losing streak - that includes a defeat to Bradford in late December - in which they have only managed to find the net five times.

Prior to that poor run of form, though, the Flintshire club had recorded five successive wins to propel them into contention for the play-off places. But now, they find themselves just two points clear of a Telford team who are second from bottom in the Laidler Conference.

Despite losing all three of the games between the two teams so far this season, Deeside have generally proven to be difficult opponents for Bradford.

The Yorkshire side recorded two narrow one-point wins (3-2 and 2-1) over the Dragons in Flintshire, while needing a late flurry of goals to see off Deeside when the pair last met in Bradford with the hosts taking the game 8-5.

Speaking ahead of the game, Dragons boss Gary Shaw said: “We were unlucky not to have beaten Bradford or come away with something last time (on December 22).

“Radim (Reznicek) is back, and that makes us more dangerous with our powerplays which will help against Bradford because they’ve conceded a lot of penalties.

“We’ve got to keep playing the way we know we can. Their rink is a lot smaller and narrower than ours, making it more of an intense and in your face game of hockey.

“But we’ll be trying to move the puck from side to side quickly, and that’ll hopefully create opportunities around the net.

“We haven’t been great in front of goal recently, as we’ve been hitting the goalie or the board too much and not taking enough of our opportunities, but the goals will come.”

With Cameron Kushnirenko and Geraint Evans unavailable, and Alex Parry ruled out due to the match penalty he picked up in the 7-2 defeat to Widnes, the Dragons will once again be relying on goals to come from James Parsons, James Shaw and Chris Keating.

Between them, the trio of Dragons have an incredible 49 goals and 30 assists so far this season, with Deeside needing their stars to add to those figures on Saturday.

Charlie Spridgeon, Matthew Wainwright, Radim Reznicek and Simon Furnival add another 21 goals and 33 assists between them, but Shaw says the rest of the team need to contribute.

“We need to spread the goals around the team much more, and not just rely on a select group of players,” he added.

Elsewhere in the Laidler Conference, Blackburn Hawks 2 could score in their third game in a row this weekend when they welcome league leaders Hull Jets, although the Lancashire side are still without a point this campaign.

Meanwhile, after wins in their last two, both Sheffield Senators and Widnes Wild will be looking for their first respective three game win streak of the season when the two face off in Yorkshire on Saturday.

There will be a chance for immediate revenge, though, as the teams face one another again a day later in Widnes, at the same time as Telford Tigers go to visit Altrincham Aces.