North Village hit by injury crisis ahead of clash with PHC
North Village could be without key players for their crucial clash with fellow Premier Division title contenders PHC Zebras at Bernard Park tomorrow.
The hosts have been hit by the injury bug and suspension, with key pair Jalen Harvey and Nacori Smith among those highly doubtful heading into the pivotal match which could have a strong bearing on the outcome of the title race.
“A very small chance for Nacori and Jalen,” Kenny Thompson, the Village coach, confirmed.
“We won’t risk the general long-term health of players. “We’re very low on available players, mostly through injury and one through a three-card suspension.”
Despite these obstacles, Thompson has urged his players to stay positive and committed to the task at hand.
“This is no reason for us not to have a positive mindset for the match,” he added. “It’s a part of football and we have to put together the expected good performance to get the result we aim for.”
PHC hold a one-point advantage over Village going into the crunch match neither can afford to lose if they are to keep their title hopes alive heading down the home stretch.
“It’s a very important fixture,” Winston Trott Jr, the PHC coach, said.
“All the games from now on are important but this one is up there and high on our priority list.”
The hosts hold a psychological advantage having won two of the previous three encounters between the two teams this season.Very little has also separated them with all of the previous meetings having been won by a 1-0 scoreline.
“If you look at the scores, in all games it’s only been by one goal, so obviously we both defend well and just need to put away our chances,” Trott added.
“It’s not going to be a crazy game. I think it’s going to be tight and cagey just like the last game [Friendship Trophy final which PHC won].
“It’s probably going to get pretty fiery, so it’s just a matter of keeping your composure and playing football.”
Unlike his counterpart, Trott has a full squad available who he says are up for the challenge.
“I have a full squad and we are prepared, which is the most important thing,” he said.
“You need to be prepared for any opposition that you face, so we are prepared and it’s just a matter of getting the job done and getting a good result.
“The players are focused. They know how important the game is, so they are focused on that and it’s just a matter of can we get a good result.”
Elsewhere, third-placed St George’s Colts will also be keen to keep their title hopes alive when they host relegation-threatened Boulevard, who sacked coach Jomar Wilkinson earlier this week, at Wellington Oval.
The remaining top-flight contest will see X-Roads host mid-table Hamilton Parish at Lord’s. Meanwhile, the title and promotion race is also set to heat up tomorrow with leaders Wolves and second-place BAA squaring off in a top-of-the-table clash at Wellington Oval.
Wolves top the standings on goal difference heading into a contest neither side can afford to lose with so much at stake.
Third-place Paget Lions will seek to keep pace with the leaders who they trail by four points heading into their clash with lowly St David’s Warriors at Southampton Oval.
Young Men’s Social Club will likewise try to keep their promotion and title hopes alive at home to bottom side Somerset Eagles at Police Field.
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