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Lowe blow for rebuilding Town

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Dandy Town winger Oneko Lowe looks likely to be sidelined after going off against North Village last weekend with an ankle injury.

The club are awaiting an update on the extent of the injury but the talented youngster is facing an indefinite spell on the treatment table, leaving Town without one of their key attacking players.

“He's being assessed but the swelling is the determining factor,” coach Devarr Boyles said yesterday. “It could be six weeks or six days. We're still waiting to hear a report. We should have a report soon, depending on his appointments.

“He and Jahnazae [Swan] are very critical to how we're playing at the moment; the system we are picking reflects their individual qualities. What we're trying to do is look at the players' qualities and adjust the system to match that.

“We're going to make some mistakes, but going forward the club will be better. That's my position, to try to do things different to what was done previously.”

Town suffered their first home loss on Sunday when North Village edged them 1-0 in a scrappy match at St John's Field. “We need to find a way to get better performances, and ultimately, better results, particularly at home,” the coach said. “In the last match we were really poor.”

This is a season of rebuilding for Town after 14 players departed in the summer, including Ian Coke and Ernest Trott back to Boulevard, their opponents on Sunday at St John's Field. Boulevard are anchored at the bottom of the table without a point from five matches, but those are the type of opponents that cannot be taken lightly, Boyles stressed.

“All teams have quality, so on the day you have to respect the opponent, prepare well and see if you can ultimately get a result against that opponent,” the coach said. “That's what we're trying to do.

“After a regular week of training, we'll see if the results from training can translate into a better performance and a result. There is still a lot of work to be done.”

Boyles, back at St John's this season after a stint with Village, is confident his team can compete against the top teams, even though this is a season of rebuilding at St John's Field. “We definitely feel we are capable of winning the league, but we have to first win the game in front of us and then go from there,” he said.

“Looking at the make-up of the team, we are just hoping we have enough players because the roster is very small this year. It will grow after November 11 with some late transfers but the team age is certainly lower.

“Last weekend against North Village we had about six players under the age of 20, which is fantastic for us. We're hoping that continues. The potential is there and with a little more concentration, we'll get better.

“The two goals we conceded in the last matches against Village and Devonshire Cougars were very similar, so we have to do better. The same mistakes are being made by different people, but it is a team game and we understand that.”

Town were the first team eliminated from the Dudley Eve Trophy this season after losing both their group A matches to Village and PHC. Now they are hoping to climb the table and build on last season. “The low end would be to match what we did last year, which was finishing third,” Boyles said. “Anything above that is what we're really striving for.”

The weekend's top match will take place at 3pm today at PHC Field, where Robin Hood will be without captain Lejuan Simmons for their match against new leaders PHC Zebras in a clash between last season's top two sides. Simmons, one of Hood's most influential players, is banned from playing at PHC Field for six months after an incident at the PHC Club in Hamilton in April.

Mark Steede, of Devonshire Cougars, and Tahj Bell, of North Village, were also involved and have been banned from the ground until December 31 as well. “As far as PHC are concerned, the matter is closed and we have moved on,” Michael Trott, the PHC president, said yesterday.

Just one point separates PHC and Hood in third place, with the Zebras unbeaten and with a game in hand. PHC took over top spot last weekend when they inflicted the first loss on X-Roads, who won their first four matches. Striker Donavan Thompson has scored in all five games to take his tally to ten.

X-Roads meet another unbeaten team tomorrow when they travel to Devonshire Rec to play Cougars, whose three draws from four matches are the most in the top division.

Somerset Trojans, still without a win after last weekend's 3-3 draw with BAA, host the other promoted side, Paget, who are on a three-game unbeaten run, while Village take on BAA, whose Keishen Bean returns to Bernard Park to meet his former team.

In First Division action, Southampton Rangers have the chance to extend their lead at the top, with Hamilton Parish, who lost to Somerset Eagles last weekend, having a bye.

The promotion race tightened with Eagles and Devonshire Colts capitalising on Southampton's bye last weekend. Now only three points separate the top five teams, with Colts up to fourth after beating Flanagan's Onions to join them on eight points.

Rangers meet bottom team Vasco at Bernard Park tomorrow, while Colts take on Young Men's Social Club at Police Field, and Eagles entertain a mid-table St David's side looking for their third straight win.

Onions play Ireland Rangers at Goose Gosling Field and Wolves meet St George's at Garrison Field in a clash between two sides in the bottom three.

Red alert: Oneko Lowe has been ruled out for an indefinite period after suffering an ankle injury in the 1-0 home defeat by North Village last weekend (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)
Referee Garic Swainson offers his best wishes to Oneko Lowe as the Dandy Town player is helped off at half-time with an ankle injury last week at St John's Field (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

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Published October 27, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated October 27, 2018 at 12:52 am)

Lowe blow for rebuilding Town

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