Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Rollers winning run continues as they halt BMC’s unbeaten league run

Township Rollers dream run in the beMobile Premier League continued this past Sunday with a 3 ÔÇô 1 win over BMC in an entertaining clash held at the Molepolole Sports Complex. As both coaches Madinda Ndlovu of Rollers and Chico Nare of BMC had promised, the teams delivered an all out attacking football deserving of championship contenders. Opting for an all out attacking display for the crucial top of the table clash, Ndlovu opted for a 4-5-1 formation, utilizing the pace and trickery of the youthful Motsholetsi Sikele and Kobamelo Kebaikanye on the wings, while Segolame Boy played just behind Jerome Louis who was the lone striker upfront. At the back, the Rollers mentor continued to put his trust on the youthful duo Bogosi Kaekwe and Simisane Mathumo.

His counterpart at BMC, Nare also opted for the same formation, with his trusted front-man Kenanao Kgetholetsile leading the line while Sageby Sandaka played behind him. On the wings, the BMC coach opted for Nqobile Mpala and Boitshoko Zikhale while the pairing of captain Tshepo Motlhabankwe and Thabo Mothibi were his preferred central defence pairing. The first signs of Rollers’ attacking intent came as early as the second minute when Kebaikanye showed Thabo Leinanyane a clear pair of heels, only for Louis to miss an opportunity to connect with his pass. Louis would however test BMC goalkeeper Moatlhodi Ndana a minute later after Sikele had slipped him a well weighed pass, but the BMC keeper was up to the task.

While Rollers enjoyed a better start to the game, they could however not find a way past Motlhabankwe and company. In fact, it was BMC who threatened next as Zikhale’s stinging shot was tipped for the match’s first corner by Mwampule Masule in between the Rollers’ goal sticks. Rollers however took the lead in fortuitous circumstances with 30 minutes gone after Kebaikanye outpaced the BMC rearguard and hit a timid ball into the box, only for Mothibi to guide it into his own net after a communication mix-up between him and his keeper. The BMC keeper was again called into action on the 43rd minute as he saved a thunderous shot from Boy.

‘Popa,’ as Rollers is affectionately known nearly extended their lead a minute later as Kebaikanye once again sprinted past the static BMC rear guard, only for his goal bound shot to hit the upright post with Ndana well beaten. The BMC keeper then did well to save and concede a corner after a shot from Manqoba Ngwenya, who had come as a substitute for the injured Louis on the 26th minute. The BMC keeper however undid his great work as he punched Sikele’s curled ball from the resultant corner into his own net, giving Rollers an all important two goal cushion as they went into the break.

From the break, Rollers started off where they left and Ndana had to be on guard as early as the 4th minute of the second half to deny Ngwenya. Eleven minutes later, Kebaikanye once again skipped past the BMC left back but Boy failed to connect with his well placed low ball which went wide past the post. It was all game, set and match in the 24th minute of the second stanza when Ndana made a hash of a routine catch, parrying a ball into the path of Ngwenya. Having been denied by the self same Ndana a couple of times, the lanky forward obligingly buried the chance to ensure Popa gained an unassailable three goal lead. Things could have got more ugly for BMC two minutes later when Ngwenya and Boy played a one two, only for Kebaikanye to miss the resultant chance, his shot whizzing past the upright.

While BMC had given as much as they could throughout the match, they could however not make way past the Rollers rearguard marshaled by the youthful Mathumo and Kaekwe. Having kept Kgetholetsile and company at bay for much of the game, the Rollers rearguards however let their guards drop in the 33rd minute and were duly punished as Mpala headed one past Masule to pull a goal back for BMC. It was however too little too late for BMC and Nare as they went on to lose not only the game but their unbeaten streak as well.

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