Bandari and Kakamega Homeboyz will go to this weekend's matches in the Nationwide League Zone A and B respectively knowing that any type of a win will help seal their promotion to next season’s Kenyan Premier League.
The coast based side was relegated last season after finishing fifteenth in the sixteen team league after registering only nine wins.
For the Kakamega based outfit, they are out to make their debut in the league and have made it clear that promotion is all what they are after by romping to an eight point lead in Zone B with only three matches left.
Bandari Comfortably Leads Zone A
Things are now looking good for Bandari as they lead Zone A with 73 points after playing 34 games eight more than second placed Bidco United who have played one more match.
Depending on the outcome of this weekend's matches, Bandari could as well be preparing their armoury for a return to KPL after a one year absence. In case they seal the promotion, it would be a perfect gift for their coach Rishadi Shedu who decided to stick with the team even in relegation.
The dockers have their good home record to thank for the speedy rise as they have collected 43 points in Mbaraki as compared to 30 while playing away.
They also boast of having won the highest number of matches at 21 and lost only three for the entire season. Interestingly, their top scorer is Shaaban Kenga with 8 goals and does not feature anywhere among the zone’s top scorers whose log is commanded by Admiral’s Roosevelt Blaty with 28 goals.
Ezekiel Akwana’s Mahakama lies third with 64 points while Admiral and Administration Police complete the top five with 60 and 59 points respectively.
Homeboys have the headway in zone B
Zone B seems to be the more competitive of the two divisions as Kakamega Homeboyz sit at the top of the table with 84 points from 35 games while Finlays Horticulture and Nzoia Sugar are tied at the second place with 76 points and the same number of games played.
Agrochemicals, who were relegated three seasons ago, might have to wait for yet another season as they are fourth with 35 points while Nakuru AllStars who were hot favourites to top Zone B from the onset come in at a distant fifth with 72 points but have played one match less.
Like Bandari, Homeboyz command an eight point lead over their closest challengers which could work to their advantage as they enter the crucial stage.
With only three rounds of play remaining to the conclusion of the league, matches lined up in the coming weekend might be very crucial in deciding who joins the top flight football league from both zones.
Kakamega Homeboyz have a tricky home fixture against West Kenya Sugar on Sunday the same day when Finlays Horticulture play host to GFC 105. If Homeboyz win and Finlays lose then they will be automatically promoted regardless of the remaining matches’ outcome.
On the other hand, Bandari will play Green Berets on Sunday while second placed Admiral will play away at Iron Strikers.
This is in total contrast of KPL where the title race seems to be headed for a photo finish as Gor mahia, Tusker and AFC Leopards are perched at the top with one point separating them and two matches left.
Potential replacements for Bandari and Homeboyz at Nationwide League next season are Rangers FC and Oserian FC who are all staring at relegation owing to poor performance.
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