FURIOUS manager Neil Middleditch insisted punters were “being robbed” after Poole Pirates had their attempt to draft in Scott Nicholls as a guest blocked by speedway chiefs.

The Wimborne Road outfit have been forced into three changes for tomorrow's trip to Lakeside Hammers (7.30pm) with Shamek Pawlicki racing for Leszno in Poland, Vaclav Milik on under-21 duty and new boy Ben Hopwood featuring for Stoke Potters.

Rookie and Lakeside asset Jack Kingston fills Hopwood's reserve berth, while Steve Boxall, a rider with Premier League club Rye House, stands in for Milik.

But Middleditch's bug bear is over Poole's inability to bring in Belle Vue's seven-time British champion Nicholls, with Finnish rider Kalle Katajisto, who represents Plymouth in the second tier, taking his place at the last minute.

The Pirates team boss, who had yet to find out the reasons behind the refusal, told the Daily Echo: “We were very disappointed not to get the guest facility and we have been punished through no fault of our own.

“Lakeside will be putting on a sub-standard meeting and it is disgraceful that the public are being robbed by paying to watch what is meant to be an Elite League meeting.

“People want to see the top riders on show but we have had to fill it with Premier League lads because our hands were tied.”

Injured star Darcy Ward is set to race, with Middleditch expecting Poole to be back at full strength for Monday's trip to Leicester (3pm).

PIRATES (tomorrow): Ward, Grajczonek, Katajisto (guest), Boxall (guest), Janowski, Newman, Kingston (guest).

PIRATES: (Monday): Ward, Grajczonek, Pawlicki, Milik, Janowski, Newman, Hopwood.