Township Rollers’ striker, Carl Finnigan, was hailed for an outstanding display as Rollers came from a goal behind to beat rivals Mochudi Centre Chiefs 3 ÔÇô 2. The striker came under special mention from both Rollers gaffer Mark Harrison and his Chiefs counterpart Mike Sithole as he helped Rollers continue their unbeaten league run. Though not on the score sheet, the striker was a nuisance for the Centre Chiefs defence, with his good off the ball runs and aerial prowess opening spaces for Rollers’ attacking players to run amok. “What really matters is his contribution to the game, what he did to the back four today, he terrorised them. They couldn’t deal with him on the air and they couldn’t deal with him on the floor. Yes, he might had a chance for a goal or two but it his contribution on the game that I look at,” Rollers coach Mark Harrison said of the striker.
The same sentiment was shared by Centre Chiefs gaffer, Sithole, who singled out the striker as his man of the match. “I think man of the match for me was Finnigan. He was winning all the aerial balls and he was on top of us and I think he was the one that destroyed us,” the Chiefs gaffer weighed in. With Chiefs’ defence failing to effectively contain Finnigan, it gave room to the likes of eventual man of the match Segolame Boy to roam free and cause damage. While the first half was tightly contested and fewer chances were created, Boy showed as early as the 7th minute that he will use all the space afforded him as he was allowed to freely shoot at goal, only for his effort to fly over the bar. Chiefs then took the lead in the 34th minute as Lemponye Tshireletso reacted fast to meet Pontsho Piro Moloi’s cross and head past Kabelo Dambe. Chiefs lead would only last for a mere three minutes before Boy pulled Rollers level with a stunning goal.
Afforded lots of space just outside the box by the stretched Chiefs defence, Boy chest trapped a free ball before hitting a thunderous shot to the far corner, past the despairing dive of Chiefs goal minder Raphael Nthwane and ensure both teams go to recess tied at one goal apiece. From recess, it took Rollers only ten minutes to usurp the lead as Kaone van der Westhuizen netted his team’s second goal from a well taken Tshepo Motlhabenkwe corner. The goal became van der Westhuizen’s last contribution of the game as he then pulled a hamstring and was replaced by Gofaone Tiro. Rollers then increased their lead under fortuitous circumstances in the 62nd minute thanks to Lesego Galenamothale’s own goal. The defensive midfielder nodded past his own keeper to give Rollers a 3 ÔÇô 1 lead while trying to cut off Motlhabankwe’s cross from reaching Finnigan, who was lurking behind him. Despite Rollers creating a few more chances, they could not however extend their lead further. It was rather Chiefs who reduced the deficit late on referee’s added time when Kekaetswe Moloi netted from substitute Dirang Moloi’s assist to ensure the game ended with a respectable 3 -2 score margin in favour of Rollers.
The result means Rollers, who are yet to lose a game this season, are still perched at the top of the league standings, while Chiefs are on the fourth spot.
Rollers: Kabelo Dambe, Tshepo Motlhabankwe, Kaone van der Westhuizen, Simisani Mathumo, Mogogi Gabonamong, Lawrence Majawa, Maano Ditshupo, Segolame Boy, Joel Mogorosi, Galabgwe Moyana, Carl Finnigan
Chiefs: Raphael Nthwane, Othusitse Pilane, Ontse Ntesa, Kaelo Kgaswane, Keabetswe Jenamiso, Lesego Galenamotlhale, Pontsho Moloi, Jackie Mothatego, Keaketswe Moloi, Tendai Nyumasi, Lemponye Tshireletso