BY TERRY MADYAUTA
WHAWHA . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(1)2
CRANBORNE BULLETS . . .(1)3
CRANBORNE Bullets put up a performance full of enthusiasm and determination to record their first win in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season when they edged WhaWha 3-2 at Ascot stadium yesterday.
Goals from Kingsley Mureremba, Tadiwa Chibunyu and an own goal by WhaWha debutant Calum English Brown were enough to earn the army-side their first set of maximum points.
For WhaWha, Jayden Barake and Butho Phiri were on target in either half but their efforts were not enough.
The match started with the visitors dominating in the first 15 minutes in terms of possession and as well as the chances created.
They got their first chance of the game on the 10th minute when Brian Muzondiwa picked Kingsley Mureremba unmarked at the edge of the box, but the latter’s effort being parried by goalie Terrence Chiku.
In a quick swing of play, WhaWha got two chances in quick succession, with Takudzwa Jukulile and Tineyi Chitora fluffing what were good opportunities.
The prison wardens opened the scoresheet on the 27th minute mark in a sensational move that had Calum English Brown as the main protagonist.
Brown swiftly weaved past two players near the centre circle as he made a sizzling solo run to pick Chitora on the right flank, with the former Dynamos striker slicing a low cross which was easily tapped in by Jayden Barake.
The Legends academy product, Brown, however turned from hero to villain on the stroke of halftime when he deflected a Tabiwa Chibunyu cross into his own nets, with goalie Terrence Chiku remaining beaten and rooted at one spot.
While the first half was wrapped up in high tempo, the second stanza turned out to be a lukewarm affair, albeit Cranborne Bullets continued dominance in midfield.
Jarrison Selemani and Brian Muzondiwa both came near in the first ten minutes of the second half in promising positions but they missed the target.
Their pressure and patient build ups paid dividends on the 73 minute mark, when Kingsley Mureremba headed home a beautiful cross that was whipped into the box by Moreblessing Mushangwe.
Three minutes later, Tadiwa Chibunyu extended Cranborne Bullets’ lead after rose high to nod home another delightful cross that was whipped in the danger zone by Moreblessing Mushangwe.
Things appeared to have turned for the worst for WhaWha when Takudzwa Jukulile and Tineyi Chitora were substituted as their replacements struggled to make impact. They almost reduced the deficit, six minutes from time when Albert Matewu broke loose towards the box but he uncharacteristically kicked the ball straight at goalie Elisha Nechiturike, who was already off his line.
Butho Phiri pulled one back for WhaWha in the referees optional time as they tried hard to restore parity, however Cranborne Bullets remained resolute at the back until the final whistle.
With this win, Cranborne Bullets moved out of the relegation zone with 6 points on their tally.
Coach Nesbert “Yabo” Saruchera was on cloud nine that his men are slowly gaining confidence to believe in themselves again.
“It’s our first win and we are excited though we could have scored two more goals but I am happy to have collected our first set of points,” Saruchera said.
“As a team we believe in play, we dominated the midfield like everyone saw and that was our advantage, though we still need to improve in defending where we were weak today.”
On the otherhand WhaWha coach Luke Petros was livid that his players failed to follow his instructions throughout the game.
“We failed to execute the game plan well, we got the lead and sat back and allowed the opponents to come back into the game. The youngsters didn’t follow instructions and our game plan eventually failed.
“I had about four players from my defence who were starting in previous games, but were not available today due to injuries so had to mix and adjust with some players from other
departments. That is why our defence line was weak but I hope the next week’s will be a bit improved for us,” Petros said.
WHAWHA: T Chiku, C English Brown, R Useni, B Maburutse, R Horonga, E Mawanda ( W Mapuwa 51′), T Jukulile( B Phiri 62′), D Mapuwa, J Barake, T Chitora ( A Matewu 73′).
CRANBORNE: BULLETS: E Nechiturike, x Janatana, T Charakupa, K Mureremba, B Muzondiwa ( E Feremba 61′), K Chidonza (T Meke 35′), M Mushangwe,P Chiramba, M Namakhoma, T Chibunyu ( M Mudzuka), J Selemani, D Melusi
- Follow Terry on Twitter @madyautatpm