BAY Stars face another crucial challenge in their quest for promotion to the National First Division when they clash against FC Buffalo in a Safa Eastern Cape Second Division soccer match at Jan Smuts Stadium in East London on Sunday (3pm).
The league is now at a crucial stage, with only two months left before the playoff stages, and things are getting heated between the top five sides on the log. Tembu Royals, Mthatha Bucks, FC Buffalo, Bay Stars and Tornado are all looking to secure a place in top flight football next season.
Port Elizabeth outfit Stars will hope to maintain their momentum after beating Cloud Nine 8-0 on Wednesday, which was some consolation for their disappointing 2-1 loss to Mthatha Bucks a week ago.
Stars coach Mark Harrison said it was good for the team to bounce back from their disappointing performance against Bucks. He said the players were feeling the pressure as there was much work to be done.
"My boys wanted to make sure of the win after losing to Mthatha Bucks last week and our defence was good, but we wasted many opportunities in front of goals. Our approach for the match against Buffalo will be the same that we used against Cloud Nine but the opposition will be different."
Harrison said all the players would be available for selection because the team needed to win the encounter against Buffalo. "It is a very important match for us and fortunately we are playing some of our best football at the moment and the game on Sunday will be no different. We will be out to collect all the available points."
Should the fourth-placed Stars collect all three points against the league's defending champions, Buffalo, who lie third from the top of the log standings, the Port Elizabeth side will shoot to the third position with still four matches in hand (a potential maximum of 12 points).
Meanwhile, another Bay side campaigning in the Safa Provincial Second Division league, Highbury, will battle it out against Cacadu United in Alexandria tomorrow at 3pm.
Highbury are third from the bottom of the log and a big team effort will be needed to move the side away from the relegation area. They will, however, be boosted by their 2-0 victory against Zimbane Killers last Sunday.
"We are looking forward to the game against Cacadu United. It will be a tough match, but we are up for the challenge," coach Garth Dickinson said.