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Friday, July 28, 2017

Bandari focused

Bandari’s Dan Sserenkuma vies for the ball with Nakumatt’s Kennedy Onyango in a past match. /FILE
Bandari’s Dan Sserenkuma vies for the ball with Nakumatt’s Kennedy Onyango in a past match. /FILE

Down the years, Bandari have been poor on the road, just like most of the football clubs based at the coast. Despite various attempts to address the issue, including signing players born and bred inland, their circumstances have not changed.

But if they want to compete for the SportPesa Premier League, they must find a solution to their Achilles Heels beginning with today’s trip to face Chemelil Sugar. The Dockers sit pretty on third place with one of the two one hundred percent home record having picked three wins in as many matches in Mombasa. A good home record is undoubtedly a sure stepping stone to challenging for championships. However, eventual league winners tend to pick almost as many points at home as they do on their away trips something that Paul Nkata’s men must master to be considered serious contenders for the title.

Regardless, a visit to Chemelil is one met with trepidation by many a team and it will not be different for the Dockers. The sugar millers are hard to beat at home and with a wily coach like Juma Abdalla at the helm, Chemelil are rightly considered title dark-horses.

Like their opponents, Chemelil are unbeaten at home having picked four points out of a possible six and have lost once in their five matches to date. The defence has been key to Chemelil’s strong start to the campaign and they will need to be well drilled against a Bandari side that is one of the highest scorers, coming into the match on the back of a 3-0 dismantling of Thika United.

With James Omino’s priceless experience coupled with Samuel Odhiambo in goal, few attackers have gotten any chance from the duo. Abdalla’s men have conceded only twice in four hundred and fifty minutes, the joint best defensive record so far.

Bandari though have proved they can unlock the most stubborn of defences particularly at home. Exciting young forward Darius Msagha and Danny Serenkuma, who is finding his scoring boots again after a frustrating first season with the coastal outfit last year, have been carrying Bandari’s scoring burden and that will be the case again this afternoon. The combination of goal-scoring master and his eager apprentice, is one which many teams will struggle to cope with just like Chemelil will.

The sugar millers also carry a goal-scoring threat of their own without relying on a single poacher. Their five goals have been accounted for by as many players, a team effort that will please Abdalla in no small measure.

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