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Hood aiming to cement top spot

Two wins in the next five days will go a long way towards deciding if Robin Hood can claim a second Premier Division title in their history this season.

Hood, with top two finishes in the past four seasons, including runners-up to PHC Zebras in 2017-18 and 2018-19, have established themselves as one of the top teams on the island.

Their make-up game against Devonshire Cougars next Thursday could put them in sole possession of first place, however, coach John Barry Nusum insists the league race is still wide open.

Nusum emphasised his team are not looking any further than their match against Dandy Town tonight, one of only two teams to beat them this season, before they face Cougars, who sit fourth in the table.

“In our last game against Town they beat us [in the Dudley Eve Trophy final], so we are going into a game against a team we know have the quality to be at the top as well,” Nusum said.

“We're not looking past that, that's the biggest game at the moment.

“It's not necessary to be looking at another game when we haven't played the game in front of us. The game in hand doesn't really mean anything, I would rather have the points. First, we have to deal with Town, a team that have shown they can beat us.”

Hood finished runners-up to Town in the league in 2015-16 before landing a first league title the next season when they finished ahead of PHC, who then went on to win two straight titles for a record of 11 overall.

PHC are all but out of the title race after their sixth loss last weekend against Cougars left them 11 points behind joint leaders Hood and Village.

“My focus is on my team and making sure we do what we need to do,” Nusum said.

“It makes you take your eye off the ball when you are worrying what other teams are doing. If we play how we want to play and are able to get the three points then luck comes into play after that.

“We just want to be in the mix and try to be in the running in every competition. The sad thing for us is the two games we lost were cup games, trophies that we would like to have won. It's been very humbling for a lot of our players.”

Hood are the leading scorers with 32 goals in nine league games, with captain Lejaun Simmons leading the charts with nine goals.

Victory tonight will put Hood three points clear of Village, who play Cougars tomorrow at Bernard Park in a battle between second and fourth.

PHC host X-Roads at PHC in a mid-table clash while Somerset Eagles take on Somerset Trojans at White Hill.

The teams drew 1-1 in October, but both will be pressing for all three points in order to move clear of the second relegation spot.

Somerset are eighth and Eagles ninth, two points behind.

Boulevard, still without a win, and nine points adrift in last place, take on Southampton Rangers at Southampton Oval today.

First will play last when First Division leaders St George's host Ireland Rangers at Wellington Oval tomorrow. Rangers almost pulled off a first win of the season last weekend when they led Vasco da Gama before a late equaliser earned Vasco a 1-1 draw.

That result helped St George's who are eight points ahead of Vasco in third place, while Devonshire Colts went second with their win over Hamilton Parish last weekend.

Tomorrow, they play improving Flanagan's Onions at Devonshire Recreation Club while Vasco meet Young Men's Social Club at Bernard Park.

Goalscoring spree: Lejuan Simmons, left, has been in top form in front of goal for Robin Hood this season (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

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Published January 11, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated January 10, 2020 at 9:35 pm)

Hood aiming to cement top spot

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