Highbury need a win for top spot

HIGH-FLYING Port Elizabeth soccer team Highbury will have to beat FC Buffalo to move to the top of the log when they clash in the Eastern Cape ABC Motsepe League in East London today (7pm).

Second-placed Highbury are chasing log- leaders Angavu Stars, of Queenstown, who head the table on goal difference. Both teams have 54 points from 24 games, while FC Buffalo are breathing heavily down their necks in third place, five points behind.

With only four league games remaining, the pressure will be intense as the sides vie for the title.

Highbury coach Garth Dickinson said the match against Buffalo would be a tough encounter.

"They are right behind us but I hope my charges will come to the party again, with an appetite for goals like they did when we hammered Jeffreys Bay Milan last weekend," Dickinson said.

"We need points from this game and we are desperate for more goals to finish the seasons on top of the log standings. I'm not worried too much about them because we've beaten Buffalo in the past."

Dickinson said he was delighted by the return of several players from suspension and injury. He said the team were in good spirits and their fitness levels were high.

"All the players are ready for the match and our plan is to take the game to them and try to attack more," he said.

Meanwhile, Morning Stars will host neighbours Real City in a Port Elizabeth derby at the Zwide Stadium today (7pm).

Both teams are in the bottom half of the standings, but they are safe from the relegation zone for now.

The Kwazakhele-based Stars were defeated 2-1 by City in the first round of the league at the NU2 Stadium in Motherwell. They have vowed not to lose the rematch.

Stars are 11th on the log with 21 points from 24 games, while 10th-placed City have 26 points from 23 games.

Stars coach Siyabulela Isaac said the players were ready to face the challenge and they would not allow the Motherwell side to humiliate them in front of their home supporters.

"The league is coming to an end and in the few remaining games we will fight for a better position on the log.

"We are going to fight until the end. What is important is for us to collect full points in each game."

City coach Bonke Namba said the preparations for the clash against the Stars had gone well and the players were ready for the derby showdown.

"We will use the derby as a platform to market our club to local business people because we need sponsors and supporters, hence it is vital for us to win the game," Namba said. "We are not going to change our strategy, although we will have a slightly different approach to this game." - Mthetho Ndoni