A third win and Stars will stay in top flight

29 April 2015 - 08:21
By Marc Strydom

Free State Stars will seek their third big result in succession to all-but guarantee their place in the Absa Premiership when they meet Bidvest Wits at Goble Park today at 6pm.

Stars have managed two impressive victories in their attempt to ensure they do not have last-day dramatic escaping the relegation zone.

PSL joint-top scorer Moeketsi Sekola's injury-time penalty ensured a 3-2 away win against Polokwane City 11 days ago. Then Stars beat Ajax Cape Town at Goble Park, thanks to Burkinabe centre-back Robert Sankara's 19th-minute goal. After Wits tonight, Stars meet Chippa United at home, Bloemfontein Celtic away in a Free State derby, and finally Black Aces at home on May 9. The win against City, in a game of swinging fortunes, was Ea Lla Koto's first victory since beating Platinum Stars 3-1 in December. After the City win, Stars's coach Kinnah Phiri hailed it as a turning point.

"I was happy, but we also created many other good chances and could have scored four or five because we combined very well up front," Phiri had said.

"I'm very happy the goals were scored by our strikers. It will encourage them to score even more. We have worked hard on our finishing and will continue to do so." Stars are never easy to beat in Free State, where especially Johannesburg teams used to excellent training and playing facilities in Gauteng, can struggle at Stars' rustic home grounds at Charles Mopeli Stadium in Phuthaditjhaba or Goble Park in Bethlehem. Wits have been a model of inconsistency, a source of frustration for grumpy perfectionist coach Gavin Hunt. But the Students - three points behind second-placed Sundowns - are still very much in contention for the runners-up spot.