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Title-chasers Town and PHC prepare for exciting end to season

Angelo Simmons has been forced to watch Dandy Town’s matches from the sidelines following a calf injury. The Town captain is hopeful of returning in time for the team's final push for the Triple Crown. (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Football fans may see the top two teams, Dandy Town and PHC, lock horns two more times this season, though they may be hard-pressed to match Wednesday night’s eleven-goal thriller in the Friendship semi-final, which many are calling the best game in recent memory.

The two teams will meet next Saturday to decide the Premier Division title ‒ assuming PHC return to their winning ways tomorrow against North Village ‒ and could also meet again in the FA Cup final, which is tentatively set for April 24.

The teams avoided each other in the semi-final draw, which sets up the possibility of a season-ending final between the season’s most impressive teams. Between them, they have scored an astonishing 129 goals in the league alone, so the high-scoring Friendship semi-final was not a surprise.

Now their attention switches back to the league this weekend, the penultimate round of fixtures in a long season.

PHC travel to Bernard Park to meet a Village side fresh off a 9-0 thrashing of Somerset Eagles whose relegation was confirmed. PHC need no reminding that Village are the only team to beat Town this season.

PHC, with a victory, will take over first place until Town play their match on Monday night against Devonshire Colts. Town are still missing captain Angelo Simmons who has been out for a few games with a calf injury, though he confirmed last weekend he is still hopeful of returning to action before the season ends.

In Simmons’s absence, defender Eusebio Blankendal has been wearing the captain’s armband with pride as the team chases an elusive Triple Crown of league, FA and Friendship titles.

“Growing up at Dandy Town this was any boy’s dream,” he said after the win over St George’s last weekend.

“I’m just living it and hopefully I can help take them all the way to the league. The main thing is we’re still winning.

“We can do the job ourselves, we don’t have to depend on anybody else to do anything for us.”

Town missed out on the Triple Crown in 1993-94 when, after winning the league and Friendship, they lost to Vasco in the FA Cup final.

North Village were the last team to win the Triple Crown, accomplishing the feat in 2005-06 when they beat Dandy Town in both the Friendship and FA finals.

Two wins against Colts and PHC will give Town a ninth league title by a comfortable five-point margin. But it can also come down to needing just a win and a draw, providing the win is against Colts.

Tomorrow’s other Premier Division match will see Somerset Eagles meeting St George’s at White Hill Field, while Somerset will play Southampton Rangers tonight at Somerset at 9pm.

Games are scheduled for every night next week as the season reaches the final weekend of league play.

The Town-Colts match on Monday will be followed by Robin Hood against X-Roads on Tuesday and Shield semi-final action (Wolves v Hamilton Parish and Boulevard v Social Club) on Wednesday and Thursday at Goose Gosling Field and Devonshire Rec.

The midweek fixtures continue next Friday with Devonshire Cougars taking on North Village at the Rec before Town and PHC then meet again to decide the new league champions.

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Published April 02, 2022 at 7:49 am (Updated April 02, 2022 at 7:49 am)

Title-chasers Town and PHC prepare for exciting end to season

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