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Hood hoping to open gap at the top

It should remain tight at the top of the Premier Division with Robin Hood, the leaders on goal difference, Devonshire Cougars and Dandy Town all expected to pick up their fourth wins of the season this weekend.

Hood travel to Wellington Oval tomorrow to meet St George’s Colts where three more points would guarantee them a three-point lead going into Sunday when Cougars are at home to Somerset and Town host Somerset Eagles at Goose Gosling Field.

Robin Hood and Dandy Town will have their sights set on first place in the Premier Division. Tomiko Goater, of Hood, is seen in action against his former team, Town (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Hood, who have gone on to become one of the top teams in the Premier Division since getting promoted with St George’s in 2014, have had five consecutive top-three finishes in the Premier Division since 2015-16, when they finished runners up to Dandy Town. They won a first Premier Division title the next season before finishing second to PHC in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Saturday’s match should be an interesting one, with Hood the top scorers in the league with 14 goals while St George’s, back in the top flight after promotion last season, have one of the best defensive records.

The East Enders have conceded just three goals in four matches, while their only goal scored, by Jahron Dickinson, was enough to give them their first victory of the season against Southampton Rangers.

St George’s will remember their last league meeting with Hood in 2015, as it was Hood’s victory at Wellington Oval that confirmed relegation for the East End side.

St George’s also lost to Hood at home in February 2018 when the visitors ended their FA Cup run with a 2-1 win in the quarter-finals. Robin Hood went on to win the cup that year, beating Southampton Rangers 1-0 in the final.

This season’s Premier Division has already had some surprise results, with both Village and Hood losing their perfect records last weekend when they were held to 2-2 draws by X-Roads and Southampton Rangers.

On Sunday, Devonshire Colts play their first home game at Police Field this season when they host Rangers. Both teams are desperate for three points. Colts are still without a win despite some gutsy performances while Rangers have just a single win in the league after early signs that they could be a team to watch this season.

Dandy Town, who are showing themselves to be a contender for honours, play bottom team Eagles at Goose Gosling Field, their home field this season while St John’s Field is closed for upgrading.

Town, in fourth place, are the only team in the top division with a perfect record, and with a game in hand. Eagles have a different type of perfect record, three losses in three matches.

However, Town will remember that Eagles got the better of them in three meetings last season, winning in the league and Friendship Trophy before their 2-2 draw in March in a make-up game confirmed North Village as league champions. Town had to settle for second place.

X-Roads play PHC at Garrison Field, both teams underperforming at present, although the Zebras did look like their former selves in getting a first win last weekend at White Hill Field. X-Roads, after three straight defeats, got their first point in a draw with Village after coming from 2-0 down in the final 15 minutes.

In Sunday’s other match, first cousins Vance Brown, the Devonshire Cougars coach, and Danvers Seymour Jr, of Somerset Trojans, will meet at Devonshire Rec.

Cougars, the second-highest scorers with nine goals, are third in the table with three wins from four matches while Trojans are three points behind in fifth.

The three-way tie in the First Division will be broken when Hamilton Parish play Ireland Rangers at Wellington Oval and Young Men’s Social Club host St David’s at Police Field. Boulevard, the other team on six points, don’t have a match because of the withdrawal from the league of Paget.

Flanagan’s Onions play Wolves tomorrow night at Goose Gosling Field.

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Published October 23, 2020 at 9:01 am (Updated October 23, 2020 at 4:03 pm)

Hood hoping to open gap at the top

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