Scott Nicholls wants to build on Sunday’s Championship win at Newcastle when Oxford Cheetahs welcome Redcar Bears in the first round of the Knockout Cup tonight.

The newly-reformed club take a break from league racing as Oxford Stadium hosts the opening leg of this first round tie, with tapes up at 7.30pm.

The second meeting is scheduled for Friday night at the Ecco Arena and the team which accumulates the most points will advance to the quarter-finals.

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Club captain Nicholls was encouraged by Cheetahs’ character and determination to register a seven-point victory on the road against Newcastle Diamonds just three days ago.

And the 43-year-old hopes the momentum built from that result can work in the squad’s favour.

“We have to treat each meeting with respect, and that’s what we will do on Wednesday against Redcar,” said Nicholls.

“Sunday’s result was fantastic, but this is a new challenge and anything can happen.

“We need to be committed if we’re to come away with a result.

“We’re coming off the back of a positive performance against Newcastle and we can use that to our advantage, we’re keen to build on this momentum come tapes-up.”

It is a fortnight since Cheetahs made a winning return to the sport against Scunthorpe Scorpions at Sandy Lane.

Since then, they have lost twice to reigning SGB Championship holders Poole Pirates and went down at Berwick Bandits 24 hours before beating Newcastle.

They welcome back heat leader Cameron Heeps for Wednesday’s meeting after the Australian declared himself fit following a short illness.

Nicholls added: “It’ll be great to have Cameron back in the squad and track a full one to seven again.

“Redcar are a strong outfit, but we’ll focus firstly on aiming to secure a win at home and take things from there.

“This is the start of an exciting new campaign for us.

“To have speedway back in Oxford is an extraordinary achievement by all concerned, bringing home some silverware would be the icing on the cake.”

As of yesterday, a limited number of tickets were still available for tonight’s meeting but you can watch the action online at