The Lansdowne Yonkers team that defeated Polish side SC Vistula 2-0 in Garfield, New Jersey, in the Bhoys' final regular season game in the EPSL.

Lansdowne face Doxa Saturday

Lansdowne Yonkers face a familiar foe in the EPSL playoffs at Tibbetts Brook Park this Saturday night [8 p.m. kickoff] in fourth seed Doxa FCW, a Greek American side that called Gaelic Park home for many years.

While Lansdowne won their second EPSL Metro Conference title on the trot, Doxa, managed by Paul Grafas, struggled early in the season, but managed enough consistent results to qualify for the postseason on the last match day. They posed a challenge to every top side. 

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A positive for the Bhoys is that they’ve won all nine previous meetings with Doxa, dating back to 2020. But this doesn’t take away the fact that Doxa are the only club, outside of Lansdowne and the Pancyprians, to have won a local league title since 2018,  when they scooped the Metro Conference in 2022.

 The clubs for the most part have plenty of respect for each other in the spirit of competition.

 “We know how difficult an opponent Doxa will be," said Lansdowne coach Matt Kane, who’s had to manage multiple second half comebacks from Doxa in the past. "Every year in the EPSL, they’ve been perennial contenders. [Their] coach deserves a lot of respect for his consistency. Our Job is purely focused on us and ensuring we produce football in these crucial matches.”

 Doxa manager Paul Grafas had his fair share of nice things to say about Lansdowne:  “We are playing the proven best semi-pro team of the last decade…I have utmost respect for the hard-working board and players. Congratulations to Lansdowne for winning the league, and we will give it our all this upcoming Saturday.

 “To be in the top four in the EPSL is a huge accomplishment, earning and fighting for the spots since the beginning of September. We look down on no one. To put on the Black and Yellow you must understand the expectations before putting on the shirt.”

 Founded in 1962, Doxa were long time tenants of Gaelic Park, more known across the Irish Diaspora as the haven for Gaelic Sports. In addition, Doxa’s club President, Peter Legakis, for some years played for St. Barnabas GFC, and made multiple tours to Ireland.

 Doxa was the last club to beat Lansdowne before the Bhoys’ historic 483-day unbeaten streak between 2020 and 2022, during which they picked up 10 trophies  including the EPSL double, and the National Amateur and Fricker Cups. In 2021, Lansdowne broke Doxa’s perfect start to the 2021-22 season with a 3-2 victory over the black and yellow in New Rochelle, but couldn’t stop them from winning the Conference title that season.

 The two clubs have produced some exciting matches, attracting plenty of spectators and thousands of viewers online. Former Wales U-16 Defender Eddie Speed played for both clubs and won a conference title with both sides.

Viewers can watch this latest Lansdowne-Doxa encounter online via New Logical Sports’ livestream.