X-Roads in top-of-the-table clash with PHC
X-Roads, the surprise Premier Division leaders, will venture into champion territory this weekend when they meet PHC in a top-of-the-table match at PHC Field as the domestic season resumes after the international break last weekend.
Both teams are unbeaten in first and second place, with X-Roads leading by three points over the Zebras, who have a game in hand. However, with a slightly better goal difference, PHC will take over top spot if they manage to inflict the first defeat of the season on X-Roads.
The free-scoring X-Roads have turned some heads already this season, winning their first four matches 5-3, 3-2, 4-0 and 4-3, with new signing Donavan Thompson banging in nine goals. Add to that the scoring threat of the Zebras — already with 11 goals in three games — and this match certainly doesn’t look like ending goalless. PHC beat X-Roads twice last season, 4-2 and 2-0, on their way to a tenth league title.
Robin Hood, Dandy Town and North Village, the chasing trio, will be hoping to close the gap on the top two. Hood have probably the easiest game of the top teams, away to bottom side Boulevard at St David’s, while the Hornets and Rams go head-to-head at St John’s Field in what should be a close encounter. Hood have eight points, Town seven and Village six.
Boulevard and Somerset Trojans are the only teams in the division without a win, having lost all four of their games. Promoted sides Paget and BAA are just ahead of them in seventh and eighth place.
Somerset Trojans host BAA tonight at 8pm in their first home game under lights, knowing the importance of a victory as they try to turn around a slow start to the campaign.
Somerset, whose win over X-Roads in their final match last season enabled them to claim the last Dudley Eve Trophy spot, are looking like early-season relegation contenders, conceding goals at a rate of three a game. Boulevard and BAA have even worse defensive records, conceding 17 and 16 goals already.
Paget meet Devonshire Cougars at Devonshire Rec in the other match, their confidence boosted by two good results in their past two outings, a 4-1 win over Boulevard and a 2-2 draw with Robin Hood after twice leading, with Dion Stovell scoring one of the best goals of the season.
• The lead in the First Division could also change hands this weekend with Southampton Rangers having a bye tomorrow. That will create the chance for Hamilton Parish to move into the top spot, although they face a tough match at White Hill Field against unbeaten Somerset Eagles.
If Parish do manage to hand Eagles a first loss this season, their time in first place could be short-lived, as they have a bye themselves next weekend, when Rangers return to action against bottom team Vasco.
Eagles sit fourth in the standings, with this being their third straight match against one of the top four teams. They managed draws against Flanagan’s Onions and then Rangers in their last match, but have managed just a lone win, against Ireland Rangers.
St David’s and St George’s, who recently picked up their first league wins, are at home to Wolves and Young Men’s Social Club respectively, while Devonshire Colts host third-placed Flanagan’s Onions at Police Field.
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