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No respite for struggling Social Club

Young Men's Social Club face two tough final matches of the year as they try to kick-start their fight for survival.

Returning to the top flight after an absence of 37 years, Social Club have found the going tough and are still without a victory after seven matches having picking up only two points.

Their hopes of finishing the year on a high appear slim, with matches against defending champions Robin Hood this weekend and PHC Zebras, the leaders, on December 10.

“It wasn't much of a pre-season, I tell them they are 37 years behind, which was the last time Social Club experienced a top-flight season,” said coach Kameron Fox, the successor to Quincy Paynter, who stood down after guided the team to promotion.

“We're getting the togetherness and are doing off-field stuff to build camaraderie.”

Social Club were a powerhouse in the 1960s when they went three seasons unbeaten, winning three league titles, 1963-64, 1964-65 and 1965-66 and a trio of FA Cup titles from 1963 to 1965.

Now survival would be a major achievement as they sit three points adrift at the foot of the table.

Fox hopes to secure a couple of late transfers before next weekend's deadline after admitting that a lack of experience in attack, having scored just five goals, is costing them dearly.

“We're just lacking that maturity around the opposition's goal,” Fox said. “We're missing chances and our defenders are getting frustrated. “We need a couple of more experienced guys around the goal to finish off these chances and that's what I'm working on now.

“It's just about changing the mindset of the players from the First Division level to Premier Division. Hopefully we can knock off one of those big teams and show people that we're serious. As we go into the second half, teams like Somerset [Trojans] are going to get better, but hopefully other teams fall and we start picking up points.”

Fox quit as assistant coach at Devonshire Cougars to take the vacant job at Social Club.

“Other people didn't want the job, but I wanted to take on the challenge,” he said.

“I came in the week before we played the first game. I was asked prior to that, but I had a previous engagement with Cougars and I really liked it there. Social Club came asking and I was up for the challenge.”

Social Club may face the backlash from Hood's 5-2 loss at home to North Village last weekend, when they host the defending champions at Police Field on Sunday.

X-Roads, Somerset and Flanagan's Onions are looking to move clear of the relegation zone. X-Roads were denied their third win of the season when Onions salvaged a 4-4 draw at Goose Gosling Field last weekend. Onions face Boulevard tomorrow night at Goose Gosling Field, while X-Roads play Dandy Town at St John's Field on Sunday. North Village host Somerset at Bernard Park.

PHC are one win away from finishing the first half of the season on top of the Premier Division, a position they also held last year at Christmas before Hood had a second-half surge to clinch a maiden league title.

The Zebras, who were also unbeaten at this stage last season, lead Hood by five points. They have 19 points out of a maximum 21 and are scoring at a rate of four goals a game after their 7-0 thrashing of Boulevard last weekend.

PHC will meet Cougars for the third time this season when they travel to Devonshire Recreation Club on Sunday.

BAA continue to set the pace at the top of the First Division after their 5-1 home victory over joint leaders St David's last weekend. On Sunday, BAA are at home to Somerset Eagles, who are fourth.

St David's face another tough road trip when they travel to Southampton Oval to meet Paget Lions who have replaced them in second. Southampton Rangers head to Wellington Oval, this time to play bottom team Hamilton Parish, while Wolves host Ireland Rangers at Devonshire Recreation Club.

Two teams fading out of the promotion race, Devonshire Colts and St George's Colts, meet at Police Field. St George's have lost their past four games.

Coach Kameron Fox says it has been a learning process for him and his Social Club players this season (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

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Published November 24, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated November 23, 2017 at 9:23 pm)

No respite for struggling Social Club

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