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Morton: No fears for Zebras

Crunch encounter: Lejaun Simmons, centre, the Robin Hood captain, and Marquel Waldron, the PHC Zebras’ midfielder, could be key players for their teams when the two title contenders meet in a top-of-the-table encounter at Goose Gosling Field on Sunday night (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)

League leaders PHC Zebras have no fears about returning to Goose Gosling Field to play a crunch match against title rivals Robin Hood on Sunday.

It is the venue where PHC suffered their only two defeats this season, including a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Hood in the FA Cup quarter-finals two weeks ago.

The two teams will be at it again, battling for the title after X-Roads were eliminated from the race last weekend when the Zebras beat them 4-1.

This top-of-the-table clash, which is scheduled for 6.30pm, will go a long way to deciding the title.

Last season, PHC won the league by three points over Hood. Now, PHC lead by six points but Hood have a game in hand against Boulevard, which is scheduled for next Thursday.

PHC suffered their first loss of the season last November when Dandy Town beat them 2-0 at Goose Gosling Field.

Scott Morton, the PHC coach, insists he is not putting too much into those two defeats. In fact, he says he is looking forward to returning to the venue for such an important.

“First and foremost, it’s one of the best surfaces in Bermuda and I’m always appreciative of that,” Morton said. “You get better football played there. Hood look to play football, we look to play football, so there is more anticipation for the match.

“When the fans come out to pay, we must try to entertain them. As for the title race, we don’t want to look too much into that.”

Morton said his side had exorcised the demons of their heavy defeat against Hood in the FA Cup by convincingly beating X-Roads last weekend.

“Those who came out to see us play against X-Roads last weekend would have seen all that has been put behind us,” Morton said.

“I’ve never allowed the boys to worry about the previous match. It was a lesson for us and now we are going to move forward. We have also won many matches [at Goose Gosling Field], so we can’t say it’s our bogey field.

“To Hood’s credit, they brought the game to us and you could see everybody was prepared. They deserved it; we got a good licking and we licked our wounds.”

Both teams will welcome several players back from Bermuda’s trip to Cuba where coach Kyle Lightbourne’s side lost 5-0 in a friendly on Wednesday.

Hood had their league match against Boulevard last weekend postponed because they were missing Bermuda players Lejaun Simmons, Tomiko Goater, Dale Eve and Jaylon Bather.

The relegation battle is also getting interesting, with Paget Lions four points adrift of safety after losing to Devonshire Cougars last weekend. Paget are at home to Somerset Trojans at Southampton Oval in a bottom-of-the-table clash on Sunday. A loss for the Trojans would virtually seal their fate as they are already seven points from safety.

Boulevard play Dandy Town at Lord’s while X-Roads are at home to Devonshire Cougars at Garrison Field. BAA and North Village meet at Goose Gosling Field tomorrow at 9pm.

Unbeaten Southampton Rangers and Somerset Eagles are set to clinch promotion to the Premier Division with games to spare. They need wins against Vasco and St David’s to move on to the magic 42-point mark, which would put promotion out of the reach of Hamilton Parish who have a bye on Sunday.

Rangers are at home to Vasco while Eagles travel East to meet St David’s.

Last season Rangers finished two points behind promoted pair BAA and Paget, despite remaining undefeated in the league with 42 points.

Provided those two teams do not suffer any losses next month, the stage will be set for an exciting final-day meeting on April 7, which could determine which team go up as champions.

In other matches on Sunday, Young Men’s Social Club play Devonshire Colts at Police Field, St George’s take on Wolves at Wellington Oval and Ireland Rangers are at home to Flanagan’s Onions.