Mmegi Online :: Nico, Gunners in battle for top four finish
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Last Updated
Friday 19 October 2018, 15:27 pm.
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Nico, Gunners in battle for top four finish

SELEBI-PHIKWE: Football fans in this mining town would not have asked for a more fitting end to this season than this weekend's epic clash between two revitalised clubs, Nico United and Extension Gunners at the council stadium.
By Staff Writer Sun 21 Oct 2018, 09:14 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Nico, Gunners in battle for top four finish








As the curtain comes down on the 2007-2008 season, both sets of supporters who had to endure agony in the middle of the season have the opportunity to cheer their stars to a top four finish. Both teams fought hard to avoid relegation. For Nico, it seemed a tall order until early in the second half when a series of impressive results saw them move away from the relegation zone. While for Gunners, it was the same old tale of trying to avoid the relegation axe. The arrival of Daniel 'Chicco' Nare revived the Peleng giants' fortunes. Gunners have been playing some beautiful football under the tutelage of Nare and underlined their revival with a 6-0 demolition of TASC last month. Now Gunners are safe and their supporters are looking forward to a better finish in a long time.

The Nico-Gunners match was supposed to be played last month but Majombolo players were involved in an accident resulting in the postponement of the fixture. At the time, both teams were fighting relegation but their situation has changed dramatically and the two are now fighting for a top four finish. Nico and Gunners go into this match on the back of impressive midweek wins. Nico dispatched TASC 4-2 while Gunners registered a 2-1 win over BDF XI. Only one point separates the two teams with Nico having 41 points while Gunners have amassed 40.

Both camps agree that it would be an interesting duel tomorrow. All eyes will be on joint leading goal- scorer Master Masitara and Tiroyamodimo 'TRX' Mohambi who is a goal behind with 17. Another interesting factor that should add spice to the encounter will be the emotional return to the Phikwe stadium of former Nico son, Monametsi 'Sunday' Kelebale.  The dreadlocked midfielder left the Phikwe side at the beginning of the season to join the Lobatse giants but he is yet to reproduce the form that saw him break into the national senior team.

Gunners' coach Nare hinted that he might give the former Majombolo utility player a run as his star player Othusitse Mahube would miss the game. Nare admits that it would be tough for his side against an

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equally impressive Nico. "It is no secret that Nico is doing well. They have been scoring goals and it will be a tall order for us in front of their home fans," Nare said. He said his side was eyeing a good finish "and that means beating Nico".  Nare said his boys would have to perform the same way they have done in the recent past if they are to come out with a result against Nico. "I have faith in the boys. I believe they would rise to the occasion the same way they have done in other games," Nare said. He said hard work had turned the situation around for his side. Nico public relations officer Eitlhomilwe Raditshego said it would be a tough game for his side as they would be facing a rejuvenated Gunners XI. "We know they are a good side as evidenced by their recent good performances. They have been winning and we have also been doing well; so we expect a good game," Raditshego said. He said the fact that Masitara and Mohambi would be chasing the golden boot award and the two teams a top four finish, sets the stage for an exciting encounter. He declared that his side was eyeing a top four finish. Raditshego appealed to match officials not to spoil the game with dubious decisions.

While Gunners would be the away team, its colourful supporters are expected to paint the mining town black and white. The team's recent brilliant showing has brought the fans back to the stadium. Nico United will be looking up to Masitara, Master Masiku and Thobo 'Fish' Kgoboge for victory. Masiku has been the team's unsung hero as he has put on masterful displays in the middle of the park. The telepathic understanding between Masitara and Kgoboge has been a nightmare for most defenders this season. Although Nico have been impressive, they tend to loosen their grip once in the lead and the absence of playmaker, Odumetse 'Mascom' Rakoma has been felt. Gunners will be banking on Mohambi, the irrepressible Abednico Powell, Nkosilathi Khumalo and Kemmy Pilato for the vital goals. Kick-off is at 7pm.

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