Former Premiership side Letlapeng suffered their first defeat of the season when they were defeated 2-1 by Mochudi Rovers in a mild Debswana First Division South match played in Mochudi on Sunday afternoon. Although the Ramotswa based side came into the game with their tails high following their 3-0 trouncing of Black Rangers the previous weekend, they failed to rise to the occasion against Letlapeng.
Letlapeng’s poor showing left their coach Enos Mmesi frustrated as he had to constantly shout instructions from the sidelines. “We failed to compete throughout the match. We let ourselves down by letting them to dictate terms from the beginning. The other thing is that we seemed to have left our scoring boots in Ramotswa because the chances we created all went to waste,” Mmesi said. The disappointed gaffer pointed out that he has taken lessons from the defeat and they will regroup. “The morale of the boys is down and we’ll have to work hard to improve it in the coming days. Overall, Rovers were hungrier than us and they deserved to win the match. It would have been cruel to them if we could have salvaged something from this match,” added Mmesi.
Rovers coach Thatayaone Tebele was happy that they managed to win two consecutive matches. Ahead of the clash, Tebele was worried about his side’s failure to convert the chances, but in the end he was content. “At least today we managed to bury some of the chances we created. We wanted to take control of the midfield and use our wings to expose them. I’m happy that our game plan went accordingly,” he said. Tebele added that they knew that Letlapeng were better than them hence they absorbed pressure in different quarters of the match.
On the day, Letlapeng surprisingly left their talisman Phenyo Magosi on the bench, but were forced to introduce him midway through the first half as the hosts took control of the match. Buoyed by noisy fans, Rovers showed their intentions from the onset trying to unsettle their more fancy opponents. With the opening half seemingly heading for a goalless draw at the break, Rovers exposed Letlapeng defence when goalkeeper Kabelo Kuti was left with no choice but to foul Rovers winger Lovemore Bogatsu in the 35th minute. Referee Orebotse Kekobang had no option but to point to the spot and Koketso Mphukuthi easily converted to give the hosts a 1-0 lead at the break.
Both sides tried hard to find the back of the net after the interval, but it was the home side which increased the momentum. In the 62nd minute, substitute Michael Setlhare made an intelligent run on the right and crossed the ball into the Letlapeng’s 18th yard box. With the defenders in sixes and sevens, Mphukuthi took advantage to slot home and send a handful home crowd into wild celebrations. Letlapeng reduced the deficit on the stroke of fulltime when Thuto Ntsie converted from close range but his goal proved too little too late. This Saturday, Rovers welcome Tsabong Black Rangers in Mochudi while Letlapeng will play hosts to unpredictable Lesirane City in Ramotswa.