Dickies stars in fight against injury

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 May, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 May, 1998, 12:00am

Instant-Dict forwards Ian Baird and Stefan Draganov are fighting to be fit for tonight's FA Cup semi-final against Yee Hope at Mongkok Stadium.

The two have picked up leg injuries, with former Leeds United forward Baird straining his hamstring at the end of his team's 5-0 thrashing of Five-One-Seven on Tuesday night.

Bulgarian Draganov was seen clutching his leg at the end of a training session yesterday.

Both Baird and Draganov got on the scoresheet in Instant's rout of Five-One-Seven, although the team's leading goalscorer, Paul Foster, said the team will not be lacking in firepower.

'We are suffering from a few injuries but we are still confident of winning and going through to Sunday's final,' said Foster, the Ericsson League's top scorer with 16 goals.

Foster was slightly worried that Instant-Dict had only a day's rest before playing tonight's match but said: 'If we're feeling the strain, so are Yee Hope. We'll have to see if we can get past them.' Arch-rivals South China continue their march towards Sunday's expected FA Cup final showdown with Instant-Dict by playing Sing Tao in tonight's second match of a doubleheader.

South China thrashed Golden 5-1 in their first-round match on Monday night but coach Wong Man-wai said he will not be taking their semi-final opponents lightly, especially as his side were beaten by Sing Tao earlier this season.

Sing Tao handed South China a 3-0 defeat in their first encounter in January but the Caroliners have managed to pull together two wins and a draw since.

'Although we have a fairly good record against Sing Tao, we must stay alert because Sing Tao are known to be a dangerous team and they are quite capable of playing well. We'll just have to concentrate on the job,' said Wong.

South China will still be without forward Dale Tempest who is expected to return to the SAR on Saturday after attending his mother's funeral. His place will go to former Chinese international midfielder Wu Qunli.

'We have had no injuries or sicknesses so there shouldn't be any reason why we shouldn't perform. We're lacking a bit in defence but if our defence holds up, we'll have a chance of going through,' said Wong.