Familiar foes on cards for Eagles

  • Big miss: Ezekiel Stoneham, the former Southampton Rangers captain, is playing in the Corona League for the time being (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)

    Big miss: Ezekiel Stoneham, the former Southampton Rangers captain, is playing in the Corona League for the time being (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Somerset Eagles are in a position to take over first place in their fifth game back in the top flight when they meet Southampton Rangers today at White Hill Field.

The two promoted teams are holding their own against the top sides, with Rangers shocking league champions PHC 3-0 last weekend, while Eagles are unbeaten after four games. Their eight points from two wins and two draws puts them tied with X-Roads who do not play until tomorrow, when they meet North Village at Bernard Park.

It was in this fixture in April at White Hill Field that Rangers clinched the First Division title with a 3-2 win over Eagles, a result that also ended their unbeaten run in the league. The two teams drew 2-2 in their first league meeting last October, so this will be an opportunity for Eagles to get one over on their rivals, whose confidence will no doubt be high after their win over the Zebras.

Rangers have been playing without former captain Ezekiel Stoneham, who has opted to start his season with new club FC Rhino in the Corona League, although there is still an option to rejoin the Premier Division club.

“Ezekiel has decided to play a little Corona this year, but we’re still very hopeful that he will decide to come back and give us a hand this year,” said Jomar Wilkinson, the Rangers coach.

“He’s been an excellent leader the past two years for us and we just wish him well. He’s been a huge miss for us thus far; somebody I can rely on to be a second coach on the field. Hopefully, he will return and be in good shape and ready to help us get over the line.

“There is always the possibility that he can return and play under the BFA umbrella, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that he will return because he can be a big help to us.”

A win for Rangers in the 3.00 fixture would put them tied on points with the leaders going into the remaining fixtures. Robin Hood, provided Eagles don’t win, will have a chance to take over top spot in tonight’s fixture against bottom team Boulevard at Goose Gosling Field.

Early signs are indicating a struggle this season for Boulevard, who are yet to score a goal in six league and Dudley Eve Trophy games this season. Hood thrashed them 5-0 in their cup match on October 2.

Robin Hood pair Lejuan Simmons and Chae Brangman lead the scoring charts with four goals apiece in the league. In tomorrow’s matches, Dandy Town and winless Somerset Trojans meet at St John’s Field in a battle between the eighth and ninth-placed teams. PHC are hoping to bounce back from last weekend’s loss with an improved showing against Devonshire Cougars at PHC Field. The Zebras are already just one loss from matching the three defeats they suffered in the league last season.

In Sunday’s other match, unbeaten teams North Village and X-Roads will meet at Bernard Park. Village are just a point behind the leaders, level with Hood who both have a game in hand from their postponed match on September 21. That match has been tentatively rescheduled for November 11.

In the First Division, a double-header at Wellington Oval sees joint leaders Devonshire Colts meeting Hamilton Parish at 12.30 and St George’s taking on Young Men’s Social Club at 3.00. That match was switched from Police Field because that venue is still not ready after recent repair work done to one of the goal areas. The match will now be a home match for St George’s, who trail the leaders by three points but have two games in hand.

Vasco meet Ireland Rangers at Bernard Park and Flanagan’s Onions take on St David’s at Goose Gosling Field.

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Published Oct 26, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 26, 2019 at 6:28 am)

Familiar foes on cards for Eagles

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