Former Highlanders striker Ralph Matema maintained his scoring form in the South Africa National First Division (NFD) when he led Witbank Spurs to a 2-1 victory over FC AK at Eldorado Park on Sunday,
In scoring his seventh goal of the season, Matema took Spurs to fifth position in the eight-team Inland Stream standings with 15 points, four off leaders Jomo Cosmos.
According to reports from South Africa, all three goals game towards the end with Matema and Mogau Tshehla netting for the visitors, while Chikondi Likwemba was on song for Azziz Kara’s side.
Matema’s team also features the Mubayiwa twins, Peter and Patrick.
The tussle at the top of the NFD Inland Stream has reached an exciting level after both Jomo Cosmos and University of Pretoria lost to United FC and Dynamos, respectively, which means just three points separate the four leading contenders.
Furthermore, with both Coastal Stream leaders Bay United and second-placed Thanda Zulu Royal grabbing important victories, the two clubs have moved well away from the chasing pack.
On Friday evening, Dynamos stunned Tuks 2-1 in their own Pretoria backyard as goals from Fulufhelo Neluheni and Zimbabwean-born Taonga Dondo lifted the spirits in Johnny Ferreira’s side, but left Steve Barker pondering what went wrong.
Bafana Sibeko netted for Tuks, whose manager Graham Oostuis told Kickoff.com after the game, “We still finish this year in second place and will continue pushing hard in the New Year.”
Tuks feature former Dynamos and Highlanders goalkeeper Tendai Tanyanyiwa.
Despite their 1-0 loss in Kimberley, Cosmos remains top; however, United and Black Leopards, coached by former Warriors and Dynamos coach Sunday Chidzambwa, who defeated wooden spoonists Batau 2-1 at home, are now also serious contenders for the play-offs after ten matches.
In the Coastal Stream, Bay cruised to a 2-0 win over Sammy Troughton’s Nathi Lions, thanks to fine finishes from Klaas Galane and teenage Kopano Sekgobela, and Thanda’s thrilling 4-3 away victory over Carara Kicks gave “Professor” Ngubane and his merry men something to cheer about after an indifferent start.
The KZN club is now just a point behind Umlilo following goals from the talented Khumbulani Mdluli, Peter Wadabwa, Matondo Kanika and Phumudzo Manenzhe.
In the other two games, Blackburn Rovers picked up another valuable point after holding FC Cape Town to a 1-1 draw at Buffalo City Stadium as sought-after striker Petrus Mahlatsi was again on target for the home side, while Hanover Park finally secured a victory when they overcame African Warriors 1-0 in Cape Town.
Brent Adonis was Park’s man of the moment, which leaves them a mere point from Rovers.