Chase Sailors will be aiming to move away from the relegation zone when they take on United States International University of Africa(USIU-A) in a mid-week Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League on Wednesday at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi.
Sailors’ inconsistent form this season has seen them drop to 11th place in the table, two points off the relegation zone. They have won only thrice from 12 matches and will be under pressure to win the 6pm kick-off tie ahead of their final first leg match against fellow strugglers Kenyatta University Vultures on Saturday.
Sailors come up against a USIU side that lies in sixth place and will be out to end the first leg campaign on a high. Chase, who are playing in their second season in the top flight, were thrashed 4-1 by 201 winners Sikh Union Nairobi on their last outing on July 2.
A day earlier (July 1), they had recorded their third win, a 2-1 win over Wazalendo, an inconsistent form that has Sailors coach William Oketch worried.
“Our season is very peculiar, we win one day and then the next we lose. We keep blowing hot and cold and that reflects on our poor position on the standings,” Oketch said on Tuesday.
The former international has called for a response from his charges in their last two games of the first leg.
“We have got to be better and we know we can do better. We need two wins otherwise we will be battling relegation when the second leg starts,” he added. Sailors will look to talismanic striker and Captain George Mutira, who has scored eight of the team’s 15 goals, to lead them against the students.
Collins Asimba will start in goal and will be hoping his defence will be at their best to keep out USIU’s forwards.
A win for Sailors will move them to eighth place, five points away from the relegation zone. USIU on the other hand, will be aiming to move near the top five with victory.
USIU coach Tom Olal has called on his forwards to be more clinical in front of goal.
“We have created many chances but failed to put them away, we have to be sharper infront of goal,” he said.
A win will see the students remain in sixth place but improve their tally to 22 points.