Hundreds of Whitehaven supporters are set to travel to Rugby on Saturday hoping to see their side – the champions-elect of League 1 – wrap up the league in style against Coventry Bears.

It has been a fairytale campaign for the Recreation Ground club, who have blossomed from a little-fancied team in pre-season into title favourites with one game to go.

And the journey has captured the imagination of the Haven faithful, with crowds going up over the course of the season and travelling support also increasing.

At least four coaches are set to transport fans to the big game this weekend and Dave Farrell, chairman of the Trust in Haven supporters’ trust, believes the growing attendances are evidence of what a fine job head coach Gary Charlton, assistant Jonty Gorley, and their backroom staff have done.

He said: “It is great that the club is going to have a lot of support for the big game and I’m sure the team will respond accordingly.

“I will hold my hands up and say at the start of the season I probably thought we would be a play-off team and Oldham looked like the team to beat.

“We have exceeded expectations, credit where it is due.

“Gary, Jonty, the backroom staff and, most importantly, the players all got off to a good start and they built on that as the season went on.”

The trust has seen an increase in membership over the course of the season which is another sign of the progress the club has made in reconnecting with fans.

“The crowds have gone up and I think over the closing stages of the season the Whitehaven home games have had the highest attendances of any team in League 1 on those weekends,” Farrell added.

“It’s great to see people getting behind the club after a couple of years where people had maybe fallen out of love with it a bit.

“People like winners – and they’ve certainly seen those this season with the team we’ve got.”

Whitehaven town councillors Carl and Louise Walmsley have also been inspired to use their ward allowances to arrange for 34 fans from Mirehouse to travel to the game with free tickets and transport.

The club is exploring the possibility of streaming the title-deciding clash for fans who can’t make it to Rugby to watch in the JJ McKeown bar at the Recreation Ground.

The fixture will also be available to watch live on the RFL’s OurLeague app for smartphones.

n This week’s Haven Pride of Five lottery £100 winners: Mrs Waugh, Thornhill, 3035; Mr Lucas, Bransty, 1116; Mrs Stubbings, Whitehaven, 902; Mr Brogden, Cleator Moor, 1403. £20 winners: Bob Roberts, Whitehaven, 509; Mr Stephenson, Cleator Moor, 2052; Mrs Graham, Whitehaven, 1999; Mr Halligan, Whitehaven, 1124; Mrs Morgan, Egremont, 2447.