DAVID SMITH - Sunday, January 15, 2012
Charles Kazlauskas and Helmond will like their chances to notch their first win since early-November when they host cellar-dwellers AGOVV Apeldoorn on Monday evening.
While they were unable to fight their way into the win column, Helmond did well under difficult circumstances to come away from their trip to the division's second place team FC Eindhoven with a scoreless draw on Friday night.
With a number of players forced to miss the game due to either injury or suspension, and head coach Hans de Koning serving a touchline ban, they buckled down defensively and earned a solid road point against one of the better teams in the Eerste Divisie.
The result did break their four-game losing streak which had brought them through the end of 2011, but they will be looking to improve further and notch one in the win column against a poor Apeldoorn team that looks headed straight for relegation.
Already sitting five points from safety with a shockingly poor -37 goal differential from their first 16 games, "De Blauwen" have won just one time all season, and have managed to scrounge only a pair of draws amidst eight losses since mid-September.
Apeldoorn will be without defenders Mike van der Kooy and Martijn Thomassen as well as midfielder Nadjim Haroun and forward Ingmar Maayen, all due to injury.
At the top of the absentee list for Helmond are defender Guus Joppen and midfielder Juanito Sequeira, both still out due to suspension. In addition, defender Philipp Haastrup, forwards Sebastian Stachnik, Pepijn Veerman and Marc Nygaard along with midfielders Benjamin Bahtiri and Ayden Kuijpers were all absent from their weekend game due to injury.