Another Top Of The Table Clash As Lions Head To Kingston Stockade
Michael Preston | Wed, Jun 7, 2017 10:36 am

The top two teams in the National Premier Soccer League Atlantic White Conference go head-to-head on Saturday when first-place Boston City travels to second-place Kingston Stockade.

The clash between two of the most in-form teams in the NPSL kicks off at 5pm at Dietz Stadium in Kingston on Saturday and is a winner-takes-all battle for outright leadership of the division.  Boston City embarks on a three-match road trip with visits to TSF (June 14) and Rhode Island Reds (June 18) to follow.

Boston City (3-0-2, 11 points) holds top spot by virtue of a 2.2 points per game that betters the 2.166 mark of Kingston Stockade (4-1-1, 13 points).  The NPSL standings focus on points per game rather than total points due to inter-conference play, and Boston City also has the benefit of a game in hand.

Unbeaten Boston City have fired nine goals in their last two matches, following up a 6-1 demolition of Seacoast United Mariners with Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Hartford City.  Kingston’s only loss came in their opening match against Hartford City, and the Stockade have rallied with an impressive four-match unbeaten streak and won their last two encounters 4-1 and 5-0.

“This is already a great rivalry and it should be an entertaining match for our great traveling support and what is sure to be a fired-up home crowd,” said Boston City head coach Palhinha.  “Both teams are scoring freely and defending well and the conference leadership is on the line, so we’re looking forward to the challenge.  Our season objective remains to win the division and progress to the playoffs.”

Last season, the Lions did the double over the Stockade with a 3-2 away win and 2-0 home victory.  The last time Boston City visited Dietz Stadium, they twice came back from being a goal down and shook off a 59-minute lightning delay to triumph and trigger a nine-match unbeaten run that led to the NPSL playoffs.

The Lions will travel west on Saturday without in-form striker Jhonata Batista, who suffered a reoccurrence of the ankle injury that ruled him out of the latter part of the 2016 season.  The Brazilian had scored seven goals in all competitions after netting in each of three preseason friendlies and hopes to return before the end of the current campaign.

Fellow forward Kamali Webson, who has hit the target twice this season, limped off as well at the weekend with a knee injury, opening the door for Yaw Addow to return to face an opponent he scored against last season.  Captain Ronaldo Vieira and 2016 top scorer Homero Morais resumed training this week after a layoff.

Despite a rash of injuries that has also claimed defenders Gilly Desouza and Gabriel De Souza and goalkeeper Vitor Scariot, Boston City has surged to the top of the standings, with Isaac Nana Addai in sparkling form.  The reigning NSPL Golden Boot and Golden Ball winner has scored six league goals this season, firing hat-tricks against former club the Rhode Island Reds and Hartford City.  Fellow new signings Kevin Herrera, Jadson Leite and Michael Rincon have also impressed.

Boston City follows Saturday’s trip to Kingston with a journey to Wayne, NJ, on Wednesday night to face TSF (2-1-0) of the Atlantic Blue Division in cross-conference play in the NPSL newcomers’ home opener, kickoff 8pm.  Then on Sunday, June 18, the road trip continues with the shortest away visit of the regular season at Rhode Island Reds (2-2-1), kickoff 5pm at Brown University.  The Lions and Reds played to a 3-3 draw at Malden Catholic High School on May 13.

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