Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
AFTER being hard done by a controversial goal in an energy sapping 0-1 defeat to FC Platinum, Chicken Inn will be hoping to end a two-match winless streak when they face Premiership newboys Manica Diamonds on Sunday.
FC Platinum’s Perfect Chikwende was adjudged to have scored by first assistant referee Michael Ncube after his effort was cleared off the line by Xolani Ndlovu. Replays on television showed that the ball never crossed the line.
The Gamecocks failed to recover from that early setback.
Chicken Inn face a mammoth assignment at Gibbo Stadium where Manica Diamonds will be aiming to recover from last weekend’s late 1-0 loss to Hwange.
Sitting fourth on the league table with nine points, four behind leaders FC Platinum, Chicken Inn are hard-pressed for a win to get their title hopes back on track.
“It’s simple, we have to pick ourselves up and make sure we take our A-game to Manica Diamonds. It will not be an easy game, but if we’re to achieve our objective we have to get our act right, forget about the past results and look to fight ahead,” said Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas.
Chicken Inn will be hoping goalkeeper Donovan Bernard, defenders Moses Jackson, Guide Goddard and Ndlovu, midfielders Innocent Mucheneka and Sipho Ndlovu as well as attackers Marlvin Gaki and Clive Augusto are in top form against the debutants.
Veteran defender Partson Jaure, experienced goalkeeper Jorum Muchambo, ex-Hwange and Harare City utility player Pritchard Mpelele, midfielders Carlton Munzambwa, Timire Mamvura and Marshal Mudehwe are among Manica Diamonds’ players that have been consistent performers so far this season.
Champions FC Platinum are expected to have an easy ride past Herentals at Mandava Stadium tomorrow, with Caps United’s four-match unbeaten run coming under check when they play host to Harare City.
Bulawayo Chiefs continue with their search for their first points of the season when they play host to Yadah at Luveve Stadium. Last season Yadah shocked Chiefs 1-0 in Bulawayo.
“We know what is at stake and the guys are responding well to training. I know Yadah are also in the relegation zone and they will certainly bring the game to us. Physically and mentally we are prepared for this game,” said Chiefs trainer Thulani Sibanda.
Match Day Six fixtures
Tomorrow: Bulawayo Chiefs v Yadah (Luveve), Ngezi Platinum Stars v TelOne (Baobab), Black Rhinos v Triangle United (National Sports Stadium), FC Platinum v Herentals (Mandava)
Sunday: Dynamos v ZPC Kariba (Rufaro), Manica Diamonds v Chicken Inn (Gibbo), Chapungu v Mushowani (Mandava), Highlanders v Hwange (Barbourfields), Caps United v Harare City (National Sports Stadium) — @ZililoR