Vikings suffered another home defeat after going down 38-18 against Sheffield Eagles.
Tom Forber has been recalled by Wigan Warriors so Joe Lyons came back into the 17 and Huw Worthington missed out.
Vikings suffered a blow pre-match when Danny Craven pulled out after injuring his calf in the warm up.
STORY OF THE GAME
Vikings went into this latest battle against Eagles knowing that they needed a win to realistically keep their play-off hopes alive.
The game started with both sides feeling each other out and it was a real battle with neither side able to take full control.
Eventually, the Vikings were able to get the first score of the half, with Adam Lawton crashing over in typical fashion on a short ball near the Eagles line. Dixon converted – 6-0.
Both teams continued to trade blows and it looked like Vikings would hold out until half-time. However, Aaron Brown was red carded with only a couple of minutes to go for a high shot, and the Eagles were able to level the scores when Aaron Murphy went over, Cory Aston converting to level the scores at 6 all.
Right on the stroke of half time, Vikings were penalised, and Aston kicked the goal to make the half-time score Vikings 6-8 Eagles.
It was always going to be an uphill struggle in the second half with a man short, but the Vikings did their best to stay in the game.
They again took the lead after Kieran Dixon scored in the corner then kicked a great conversion from the touchline to make the score 12-8 to the Vikings.
The lead was short lived, however, and the Eagles refused to lie down as Aaron Murphy went in again on 48 minutes with Aston kicking the conversion. Vikings 12-14 Eagles.
The Eagles then started to dominate and further tries by Aston on 53 mins and Jack Hansen on the hour, both converted by Aston, stretched the lead to 26-12.
Although not able to completely get on top, the Vikings never stopped trying and in the 63rd minute Dixon got his second of the afternoon, kicking superbly from the touchline again to make it 18-26.
This almost seemed to annoy the Eagles, and, as the Vikings tired, not unexpectedly, they ran in further tries by Anthony Thackeray in the 70th minute and Evan Hodgson in the 74th minute, with Aston supplying the extras each time.
It was a brave effort from the home side but it wasn’t to be and the final score was Vikings 18-38 Eagles.
Featherstone Rovers (A); Saturday 23rd September, 6pm kick-off.
TEAMS AND SCORERS
WIDNES; Owens, Ince, Fleming, Edge, Dixon, Lyons, Gilmore, Field, Fozard, Lawton, Wilde, Grady, Brown
INTERCHANGES; Farnworth, Davies, Waler/
TRIES; Lawton, Dixon 2
GOALS; Dixon 2
SHEFFIELD; Laulu-Togaga’e, Jones-Bishop, Oakes, Glover, Dawson-Jones, Aston, Thackeray, Kirk, Hansen, Dickinson, Murphy, Sene-Lefao, Hodgson.
INTERCHANGES; Gwaze, Wood, Broadbent, Liu.
TRIES; Murphy (2), Aston, Hansen, Thackeray, Hodgson.
GOALS; Aston (7)
REFEREE; Scott Mikalauskas