THE stakes will be high when championship contenders Highbury clash with Morning Stars in a Port Elizabeth derby of the Eastern Cape ABC Motsepe League at Gelvandale Stadium tonight (7pm).
Second-placed Highbury dimmed the Stars 2-1 at the Zwide Stadium in the first round of league matches and the visitors have never beaten the home side in any cup game.
Stars’ hope will be boosted by their 1-0 victory over Real City last weekend while Highbury dropped crucial points against FC Buffalo.
Highbury remain near the top of the table in pursuit of log-leaders Angavu Stars, of Queenstown, with both teams sharing 54 points from 25 games but Angavu Stars are leading on goal difference.
On the other hand, Kwazakhele-based Stars are in 11th place and are fighting for a top 10 spot come the end of the season.
Stars coach Siyabulela Isaac said they respected the fact Highbury would be tough opponents because they were the leading side in the Nelson Mandela Bay region.
“But we won’t do them any favours since they are competing for the league title. We are not a charity organisation,” Issac said.
“We are aware Highbury are red hot but we will go out there and compete against them because we are not scared of them and we are also hungry for maximum points which will get us closer to a top-10 finish.
‘We will have to win our four remaining games.”
Isaac said his charges do not have any stress about the match against Highbury because they were not in a title race.
Meanwhile, another Port Elizabeth side campaigning in the provincial ABC Motsepe League, wounded Real City, will host struggling neighbours Cacadu United at the NU9 Stadium tomorrow afternoon (3pm).
The Motherwell side were beaten 1-0 by Morning Stars at the Zwide Stadium last weekend.
City coach Bonke Nambha said he believed his side had tied up the loose ends.
“We’ve strengthened our defence because of the goal we conceded against Morning Stars and we are well prepared for United.
“We expect a tough game but we’re going to give it our best shot.” – Mthetho Ndoni