Township Rollers kept their three points advantage over rivals Mochudi Centre Chiefs with a resounding 4 ÔÇô 2 defeat of Extension Gunners. Just a day after seeing second placed Centre Chiefs pull level with them on points with a narrow 2 ÔÇô 1 win over BDF XI, a vintage Rollers’ performance saw them regain their lead at the log summit ahead of the two giants’ clash billed for the National Stadium this coming Saturday.
In a pulsating clash between Rollers and Gunners, it was Popa who started on a high, scoring two early goals to put pressure on Extension Gunners. Rollers’ first goal came in the fourth minute through their captain, Sekhana Koko, who was making his first start for the team since coming back from his injury. Koko should have grabbed his brace five minutes thereafter when he chest trapped a ball in the Gunners box, only to balloon his shot over the goal posts. The miss did not deter Rollers and they duly extended their goal tally in the 11th minute through Segolame Boy, who was assisted by debutant striker Jerome Ramatlhakwana.
Having received a through ball, the burly striker skipped past the Gunners defence before pulling back a pass into the path of Boy to tap home Rollers’ second goal and send their supporters into a delirium. Notwithstanding their torrid start to the game, credit should go to Gunners as they managed to regroup and take the game to Rollers. Playing in the absence of their head coach Dragojlo Stanojlovic who is serving a touchline ban, Gunners players showed character and discipline as they started dictating the game with former Rollers’ boys Tshepo Molefhe and Moemedi Moatlhaping being at the centre of things.
The Lobatse side nearly pulled one back in the 15th minute only for Moatlhaping to see his header fly over Rollers’ Michael Pepukani’s goalposts. Gunners’ pressure paid off in the 38th minute as Mosimanegape Ntwaetsile pulled one goal back to temporarily silence the Rollers’ supporters and keep Gunners in the game going into recess. From recess, both teams continued where they left off and gave their best but it was Rollers who eventually extended their 2 goal lead in the 83rd minute courtesy of a Ramatlhakwana header. The burly forward reacted fast to head in a well taken corner by Boy past Wagarre Dikago in between Gunners’ sticks.
Despite a spirited fightback, the game was all but over for Gunners in the 88th minute when substitute Gofaone Tiro raced past the Gunners defence to score Rollers’ fourth goal. Gunners however reduced their deficit to two goals deep into referee Joshua Bondo’s added time thanks to Thabiso Mabachi.