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Rabotnicki keep ahead of pack

Published: Tuesday 26 October 2004, 13.06CET
Monthly review: FK Rabotnicki are leading champions FK Pobeda and FK Vardar in F.Y.R. Macedonia. features

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Published: Tuesday 26 October 2004, 13.06CET

Rabotnicki keep ahead of pack

Monthly review: FK Rabotnicki are leading champions FK Pobeda and FK Vardar in F.Y.R. Macedonia.
By Igor Panevski

FK Rabotnicki lead the Macedonian First League by five points after ten games as champions FK Pobeda and FK Vardar fight to keep pace. Rabotnicki are unbeaten in four matches and their advantage would have been greater had they not been held to a surprise 1-1 home draw with FK Belasica GC on 3 October.

Zdravevski winner
That was only the second time this season they have dropped points, and it allowed Pobeda to gain ground, a run of four straight victories taking them to second place. The most important result in that sequence came on Saturday, when Nikolce Zdravevski's 89th-minute goal earned a 1-0 home win against Vardar, who fell to third.

Vardar stumble
It has been a difficult month for Vardar, who have dropped points after victories over FK Bregalnica Stip and FK Sileks. On 17 October, the title challengers could only draw 1-1 at home to bottom side FK Napredok, who held out until the last minute before conceding the equaliser despite having four men sent off.

Napredok winless
Napredok are still the only team without a win. Three draws and seven defeats have left them six points adrift of the nearest club, FK Sloga Jugomagnat, who like FK Sileks, are adapting to life at the bottom after spending last season challenging at the top.

Sloga struggle
Inconsistency has been Sloga's problem. A 4-1 home success against Štip on 3 October prefaced a 3-0 defeat at FK Shkendija 79 for the Macedonian Cup holders. Then came Saturday's 1-0 loss at home to Sileks, their seventh reverse of the campaign.

Sileks improve
That result, coming after a goalless draw at Štip, was a step in the right direction for Sileks, runners-up last term, who have climbed to ninth with ten points from ten matches. The former was an important point for Štip too, marking a successful start for new coach Mijalce Madzuranov following the resignation of Vlatko Kostov. Under Madzuranov, Stip remain unbeaten having won 3-0 at Napredok at the weekend.

Madzari challenge
Finally, FK Madzari Solidarnost 92 are fourth, three points behind Pobeda and Vardar, after a 2-1 triumph at FK Baskimi. That scoreline was an upturn in fortunes for the Skopje side following successive defeats away to Pobeda and at home to Rabotnicki.

Last updated: 26/10/04 18.20CET

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