High-flying side face tough test

Mthetho Ndoni

PORT Elizabeth’s semi-professional football outfit Highbury’s perfect start to the season will be put to the test by a resurgent Matta Milan in a Safa Eastern Cape Second Division league match at the Gelvandale Stadium tonight at 7pm.

The home side had a great start in the country’s third highest football level after winning their opening match of the league campaign a fortnight ago away from home.

They also qualified for the provincial Nedbank Cup Safa level semifinals.

Highbury will be playing their first home match.

Their opponents from Dutywa have always produced fireworks and this match could prove to be a cracker.

A win against Milan will keep Highbury on cloud nine as they would like to maintain the momentum created by their performance in the Nedbank Cup.

Highbury mentor Garth Dickinson said they would take each league fixture match one step at a time.

“This is another tough match for us and it is a fact that our short-term mandate to the team is to be in the top five on the log standing before the Christmas break.

“We are happy with how things turned out in our first league match against Tembu Royals and again in the Nedbank Cup but we still need to show an element of consistency.”

He said the team were determined to intensify their challenge for the league title.

Meanwhile, Safa Eastern Cape Second Division league rookies Real City will host their first home league match when they clash with Champion FC at the NU2 Stadium in Motherwell tomorrow at 3pm.

City were defeated by Matta Milan in their first league fixture of the season.

City coach Bonke Namba warned Champion to brace themselves for a war.

He said the game would be tough but his charges were ready and prepared for Champion.

“We respect Champion FC because they are one the giants of the Second Division league, but we need maximum points and we are going to put up a big fight.

“It is our first match in the Second Division after gaining promotion from the provincial SAB play-off, and it is understandable that some of the boys are still a bit tense.”

However, spirits were high in the camp and everybody was looking forward to the game.

Morning Stars, another Port Elizabeth side campaigning in the provincial Second Division league, will play against FC Buffalo at the Jan Smuts Stadium in East London tonight 7pm.

Stars manager Simphiwe Sijaji said the team’s preparations were going well.

“We’ve watched Buffalo play and they have a lot of experience in the Second Division league but our young squad are prepared to collect maximum points.”

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