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‘Big Four’ clash tonight

Ezra Stuart

‘Big Four’ clash tonight

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Football fans can expect fast-paced and positional football tonight on a fantastic field which is tailor-made for players with the requisite ball control and passing skills.
With the new Wildey Astroturf Facility bringing a different dimension to the game and testing the players’ technique, tonight’s double header will provide some early answers to the title prospects of the “Big Four” when the Digicel Premier League continues.
The two most successful football clubs, Weymouth Wales and Claytons Kola Tonic Notre Dame, clash in the opening game at 6 p.m. while two perennial title contenders, Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP) and Mackeson Brittons Hill clash at 8 p.m.
Both Wales and the Dames, with close to 40 titles at the top level between them, are coming off wins last Thursday night, against Dayrells Road and Youth Milan respectively, after drawing their opening matches.
Wales played impressively to beat Dayrells Road 2-1 but apart from Dwayne Stanford, who got a brace; their front men still need to be far more clinical.
Any defence with John “Nobby” Parris marshalling is never easy to penetrate but Wales have a deadly weapon in attacking outside midfielder Carl Joseph, who will be eager to showcase his skills against his former teammates.
Seasoned Notre Dame right wing back Leon Todd should have a busy night containing Joseph while Jason “Fowlie” Blackman can also cause problems on the right flank.
This will only be BDFSP’s second game following last Sunday’s hard-fought opening 1-1 draw against Wales and they would no doubt be going all out for a victory.
Brittons Hill, with the experienced Luther Watson now doubling as coach/player after taking over from the English-trained Lennux Ferdinand, suffered what could be considered an upset 2-0 loss to neighbours Dayrells Road in their last outing after starting with a convincing 3-1 victory over winless Youth Milan.   
They are facing a BDFSP side with six talented new recruits but team strategy and line-up formation will be critical factors for coach Asquith Howell.
But judging from the BDFSP’s starting line-up for their first match, it appears there seems to be a defensive mind-set with Ricardio Morris, Teriq Highland and Kemar Chase joined by two holding players in Jason Lovell and Rashad Jules.
Hence, Raheim Sargeant, Akeem Browne and Romario Harewood will battle in midfield against Brittons Hill’s playmaker Rondelle Vaughan, Watson, Elsid Miggins and Zidkigah Samuel.
Riviere Williams and Hendy Richards will no doubt start up front but it won’t be surprising if Brittons Hill opt for the exciting Foundation schoolboy, Nicholas Jones.
The action will get going with a Banks Beer Division 1 match between KickStart and Ellerton at 4 p.m.