Stellies tipped for top flight

Stellies mentor Steve Barker have orchestrated a protracted two months stay at the summit of the NFD log.
Stellies mentor Steve Barker have orchestrated a protracted two months stay at the summit of the NFD log.

A strong away record and the fact that they haven't lost against fellow promotion hopefuls makes it easy to tip current NFD leaders Stellenbosch to clinch automatic promotion at the end of the season.

At the start of the NFD season, the promotion race seemed wide open as teams like Uthongathi, Tshakhuma and TS Sporting were having a jolly ride at the top.

However, Stellenbosch have since taken control. The Capetonians have been sitting comfortably at the summit for almost two months now.

The Steve Barker-mentored team are unbeaten in their last seven outings, with six victories and a draw.

One of the factors in Stellies' recent dominance is their impressive away record. Barker's men have been good travellers this season, winning six of their eight away fixtures, with two draws. They have scored 12 goals away from home, while conceding five.

Stellies have already beaten Sporting 2-0 while they managed a 1-1 draw against Tshakhuma late last month.

Speaking to Sowetan last month, Barker said they were targeting 30 points before the end of the year. Stellenbosch have three matches before the year ends. They face TS Galaxy away on Saturday before hosting struggling Cape Umoya next week. Their last match is away to Maccabi.

NFD results:

Richards Bay 1, Spurs 1; Cosmos 2, Kings 1; Ajax 0, Eagles 1; Uthongathi 0, Stellenbosch 1; AmaTuks 1, Sporting 2; Mbombela 1, Galaxy 0; Umoya 0, Ubuntu 2; TTM 0, Maccabi 2.

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