El Karfa ups stakes as X-Roads climb table

  • Guiding hands: X-Roads coach Farid El Karfa believes that his side should be ambitious (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

X-Roads coach Farid El Karfa believes his team can achieve a comfortable mid-table finish in their first season in the Premier Division.

Last season’s First Division champions picked up their fourth win of the campaign last weekend when they thrashed Boulevard 7-3 in their biggest win as a top-flight team, with striker Kahmori Brangman leading the way with four goals.

The win moved X-Roads a point behind sixth-placed Boulevard and a victory against bottom team Young Men’s Social Club, last season’s promotion partners, tomorrow could see X-Roads up another place.

“I think we are getting closer to safety, I wouldn’t say we are completely safe yet,” said El Karfa after the Boulevard win that extended their unbeaten run to three games.

“Maybe at this point we should try to get even more ambitious and get further up in the middle of the table. In our last three games we drew against [Devonshire] Cougars, had a victory over Robin Hood and a victory against Boulevard, so I think we’ve got a right at this point to fight for a better position in the table.”

Boulevard twice took the lead in the first half before X-Roads levelled it up at 2-2 late in the half when Brangman opened his account with a shot from 25 yards. El Karfa’s half-time talk helped the team turn the game around, scoring five more times to stun their opponents.

“I just motivated the players to express themselves freely on the field and be brave,” El Karfa said. “That Robin Hood win was the biggest shock, but this is our biggest win.”

The Premier Division looks a table of two halves with the top five teams — from leaders PHC Zebras to Cougars — in the title race while the next four teams are fighting not to get involved in a relegation fight.

Social Club, who blew a 2-0 half-time lead against Flanagan’s Onions before losing 3-2 last weekend, are ten points from safety with six matches left.

The main battle for survival could involve four teams fighting to avoid the second relegation spot. Boulevard and Somerset Trojans are hoping to bounce back positively after heavy losses last weekend. Boulevard play Cougars this afternoon in a mid-table clash at Devonshire Rec, before action switches to Goose Gosling Field tonight for a clash between Premier Division champions Hood and PHC.

Tomorrow’s other two matches will see North Village playing Dandy Town Hornets in a clash between teams in second and fourth places, while Onions will hope to build on last weekend’s win over Social club when they play host to Somerset at Goose Gosling Field.

In the First Division, Paget and BAA playing in a top-of-the-table clash at Southampton Oval, with Southampton Rangers ready to take advantage, although they face a tricky match against Somerset Eagles at White Hill Field.

The match between Wolves and St David’s has been switched from Devonshire Rec to Lord’s starting at 12.30. Devonshire Colts play Ireland Rangers at Police Field and St George’s take on Hamilton Parish at Wellington Oval.