After weeks of a stuttering performance, Mapalastina could finally afford to smile. Rousing themselves on Saturday, Township Rollers thumped hapless Extension Gunners 5-1 in a one-sided Be MOBILE Premier League game played at Lobatse Sports Stadium.
However, Rollers’ second win of the season brought no change to their position. Now with 11 points, they remain on 13th spot.
Victory has raised hope for their die-hard fans, who have been mocked by their rivals every weekend. The rain-soaked game reminded the crowd just how high Rollers can raise their game when they are on song.
In previous games, the Rollers’ coach has complained about his players appear to have lost their scoring boots, missing chances on several occasions to deny themselves victory.
He went home satisfied after Saturday’s routing of Gunners. ┬á
A sparkling performance from Onalethata Tshekiso swung the game Mapalastina’s way. The well-built striker scored a brace and provided three assists.
As Rollers weaved their magic, Mapantsula looked a pale shadow of themselves. Even the usually rock-solid defensive partnership of Desire Bafana and Kerapetse Mosimanekgosi was in tatters.
At the break, Rollers led 3-0, courtesy of goals from Tshekiso, Sekhana Koko and Ntesang Simanyana. They continued the uncompromising mood in the second stanza, always looking likely to score.
Tshekiso and Koko contributed a goal each after the interval. It was enough to send Mapantsula to the cleaners.
On 82 minutes, a strike from Mponang Mponang saved Gunners’ blushes, but it was too little too late. Given this win, Rollers supporters are likely to fill Francistown Stadium to the rafters in their next fixture away to TAFIC on Saturday. ┬á
Rollers’ coach, Darlington Dodo, was a happy man.
“I’m proud of the way my players performed. It’s all about patience and persistence. We’ve been playing well and we knew that at some stage we’d start scoring goals. The boys understood our situation very well and credit must go to them,” he said in his post-match comments.
He added that they will continue work hard to improve their position on the log. ┬á
“At halftime, we were leading 3-0 and we had to talk to the guys not to be complacent and you could see by their approach in the second half. Going forward, we need to talk to the boys to keep their heads low,” he said.
Mapalastina have five games against TAFIC, BR Highlanders, Notwane, BMC and Gaborone United (GU) before wrapping up their first round fixtures.
On paper, it is games against BMC and GU which might prove to be daunting for them. If they win all their games before meeting GU on December 26 in Maun, the clash is likely to be a thriller which might attract a sizeable crowd in the North-West.