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Lightbourne not taking Hornets lightly

Dandy Town’s Tomiko Goater, who scored against Robin Hood in the season-opening Charity Cup win, is seen in action against Zuhri Burgess and Joseph Pereira. The two teams meet again tomorrow (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Kyle Lightbourne believes that Dandy Town have too much quality to be relegated, but the Robin Hood coach is hoping that the champions’ revival will not start at his team’s expense tomorrow.

Hood started the Town slide on the opening day of the season when they won 3-1 at St John’s Field. Fast forward eight games and Town have managed just one win, spending the first half of the season dwelling at the foot of the table.

Town are tied for bottom with Devonshire Colts and fired coach Jomar Wilkinson last weekend, bringing in the experienced Andrew Bascome to work alongside Kwame Steede.

“I guess for Dandy Town it’s going to be a new lease of life for the players, a change is sometimes a good thing, but their form is their form,” said Lightbourne, whose side finished second to Town in the league last season before beating them in the FA Cup final.

“They haven’t been able to win matches, just one win and one draw, but they are a good team and on their day can beat anyone in this league.

“I guess the new coaching staff will be looking to do things a little bit different.”

Lightbourne works with Bascome in the Bermuda set-up and knows the island’s head coach could rejuvenate Town.

“They’ve got enough firepower to get them out and especially this time of the season when they have a few college-based players who could possibly still be here,” Lightbourne said before tomorrow night’s match at Goose Gosling Field. “That gives them another option. We all know that Dandy Town are one of the top teams on the island and if we think we’re going to have an easy game then we’ll need to think again.

“Dandy Town are probably going to feel that they can win every game in the second half of the season.

“That’s the mentality of that club and they have the players to do it. Right now, this will be the biggest match of our season, coming off two weeks without playing and having to pick up again.”

As they were for most of last season, Hood are second in the table, just three points behind unbeaten PHC Zebras.

At this stage last season Town were comfortably nine points ahead, but Lightbourne feels it is still a wide-open title race.

“For us, if we can get 20 points again it will be close,” Lightbourne said. “That shows consistency from all three teams and whoever gets 20 points in the second half of the season will win the league.

“PHC haven’t lost a game in the league yet and the only team we lost to was PHC, so with all the hard work they’ve put in they still aren’t running away with it.”

League action resumes tonight with Somerset Trojans at home to Flanagan’s Onions at 8pm.

PHC and Cougars will battle for the second time in a week at PHC Field on Sunday. Cougars lead the season “series” 2-1 after two cup final victories over their opponents, but Zebras will go into the match determined to avenge last weekend’s defeat in the Friendship Trophy final at Wellington Oval.

Village will aim to stay in contention when they host Boulevard at Bernard Park while Devonshire Colts are at home to Somerset Eagles at Police Field.

In the First Division, Young Men’s Social Club and X-Roads will look to open a gap on third-placed Southampton Rangers. Social Club are at home to lowly Hamilton Parish at PHC Field while X-Roads, who beat Wolves 6-3 on Monday, meet Rangers at Southampton Oval.

St George’s meet Paget Lions at Wellington Oval while St David’s travel to Dockyard to take on bottom side Ireland Rangers. BAA and Wolves meet at Goose Gosling Field at 7pm tomorrow.