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The win’s the thing

Ezra Stuart

The win’s the thing

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All six teams in tonight’s Digicel Premier League football triple header at the Wildey AstroTurf will have the goal of winning, but for different reasons.
In the opening game at 4 p.m., Youth Milan will be desperate for their first win of the season against the inconsistent DirecTV Paradise. In the 6 p.m. gme, leaders Barbados Defence Force (BDF) will be seeking to stay at the top of the table with another victory over the spirited Cosmos. The 8 p.m. match will see defending champions Weymouth Wales looking to rebound against struggling Families First St John Sonnets.
Wales vs Sonnets
Wales will be looking to put Thursday’s agonizing 1-0 loss to Mackeson Brittons Hill behind them with a big win against Families First St John Sonnets.
Sonnets have lost all five of their matches while conceding 18 goals and failing to score any.
But the champions’ experienced sweeper Julian Mottley must still guard against complacency and not take the diminutive Zico Mascoll, oldstager Jefferson White, Jason King and Damien “Mopsie” Husbands lightly.
The problem for Wales all season has been their finishing and Dwayne Stanford, Kemar Headley, Carl Joseph and Jason Blackman will need to be more proficient in front of goal.
Youth Milan vs Paradise
With Sonnets, who have made a return to the Premiership this season, already seen by football pundits as one of the two teams likely to be relegated, the Checker Hall, St Lucy-based Youth Milan need to get their act together very quickly.
They have lost four of their five matches and only last Saturday bowed out of the Knockout competition at the first round for the fourth straight year, losing to Division 2 side Lodge Road.
Milan’s woes have been compounded by injuries to a number of players, particularly central defender Dwayne Skinner, while their inspirational captain Norman Forde seems not to be fully fit.
Veteran goalkeeper Adrian Chase has returned to the team, replacing the youthful Mario Albert, but the defence is suspect, conceeding at least two or three goals each game.  
Paradise have been having a quiet season, with two wins against promoted teams Cosmos and Sonnets; draws with Gall Hill and Wales, and a heavy 5-0 defeat to BDF.
Last Saturday on their Dover home turf, Paradise looked rather ordinary in the Knockout against Division 3 team Welchman Hall and required a win on penalties to advance.
The match could be decided by two factors: first, how clinical Paradise’s strike trio of Armando “Suga” Lashley, Kadeem Latham and Mustaffa Haqq are with their chances and, secondly, whether Forde or even Ramon Greaves can produce a few moments of magic or Kenroy Skinner rediscover his goal-scoring ability for Milan.   
Cosmos vs BDF
After Thursday’s goalless draw with Gall Hill, Cosmos, with two wins in their debut Premiership outing, shouldn’t be under-estimated by the BDF.
The BDF have reeled off four wins while drawing with both Wales and Claytons Kola Tonic Notre Dame.
With plenty of reserves, they have been rotating players all season without really affecting the strength of their outfit.
Jamal Chandler, Mario Harte and Chai Lloyd have been their main weapons in attack, combining for nine of the team’s 16 goals.
Cosmos’ goalkeeper Richard Corbin, central defenders Dario Alleyne and Ramon Bignall, Carli Stephens, youngster Treyvon Bowen and captain Donovan Lavine, who usually plays a defensive midfield role, are likely to have a tough task keeping the BDF attacking players at bay.