Soccer

Steede backs Town to enter the title race

  • Nice shirt you have: Joseph Pereira, the Robin Hood defender, keeps Damon Ming in check by holding on to his jersey at St John’s Field last weekend (Photogaph by Lawrence Trott)

Kwame Steede, the Dandy Town Hornets coach, still feels his team can feature in the Premier Division title race after defeating champions Robin Hood last weekend.

Inconsistency by teams such as Town, Devonshire Cougars and North Village leading up to the Christmas break suggested the title race would be down to two teams, leaders PHC Zebras and second-placed Hood.

However, Town are still in contention after their 3-1 win over Hood moved them to within a point of their opponents.

After this weekend’s FA Cup first-round matches, Town face another crucial encounter when they host PHC at St John’s Field on January 21. A win for Town would throw the title race wide open.

“We want to push, put pressure,” Steede said. “We have to play PHC in our next game and anything can happen.

“Our goal is to push as far up as we can. We still have the FA Cup to play for and PHC aren’t running away with the league, so anything can happen.”

It was with Town’s help that PHC opened a six-point gap at the top. Now the Hornets are motivated to stop the unbeaten leaders and keep the race open.

“I don’t look at it as doing a favour for anybody, we’re just doing what we have to do,” Steede said.

Hood, whose ranks were depleted by injury and suspension, and were able to list only two substitutes last Sunday, would welcome another Town victory to put the brakes on the unbeaten Zebras.

“[The loss] makes it tough,” John Barry Nusum, the Hood coach, said. “PHC won and we have to hope somebody else can do us a favour, which we never want to do.

“Hopefully, Dandy Town can do something, but at the end of the day we have to take care of ourselves. Losing another game doesn’t help, either. We just have to make sure we do our business.”

Hood were hit by three first-half goals, before a second-half fightback gave them some hope of snatching a point. Three points separate Hood from Village in fifth place.

“It was going to be tough coming back for our first game after the break,” Nusum said. “We didn’t start well, but the positive thing was how we came out in the second half to show that we can still play good football.

“It wasn’t a strong [half-time] talk, just an honest talk. I understand that as a player sometimes it just doesn’t happen for you. I told them where we were lacking and we picked it up. We lost and can’t do anything about it.”