Mochudi Centre Chiefs’ coach Mike Sithole was left to rue lack of depth as his team was held to a one all draw by Gilport Lions in a beMOBILE Premiership league match this past Sunday. Chiefs came into the game seeking to bridge the gap between themselves and new log leaders Orapa United, as well as second placed Township Rollers, but this was not to be as the team’s lack of depth was cruelly exposed much to the chagrin of the under pressure Sithole.
While the defensive frailties of Centre Chiefs are well known, the coach’s hope for relief this past weekend was short lived as he had to ditch his newly acquired defender, Thato Kebue from the lineup in the last minute, and had to throw midfielder Lesego Galenamothale back in the defense. To add salt to injury, Sithole now faces a strike force crisis as he now finds himself with only one striker in the squad, Onalethata Tshekiso, as Kekaetswe Moloi is still out due to administrative issues at the club. The impact of such lack of depth was clear to see for Chiefs’ as their defense failed to deal with Gilport Lion’s attacking players led by Kenanao Kgetholetsile, while at the front, they failed to bury the numerous chances they created, either shooting wayward or being thwarted by Lesego Bosekeng in Gilport Lions’ goalposts. Magosi started the better of the two and should have taken the lead as early as the seventh minute when Lemponye Tshireletso’s delightful cross into the box evaded both Tendai Nyumasi and Senatla Molefe. Chiefs however continued to pile on the pressure but Tshekiso, Molefe, Nyumasi and Tshireletso were wasteful in front of goal. Chiefs’ profligacy and suspect defending was then duly punished in the 36th minute when Kgetholetsile, who had given Chiefs’ makeshift defense problems all afternoon netted past the despairing dive of Mompoloki Sephekolo to give his side a lead. Magosi nearly found an equalizer in referee’s added time in the first half but Kaelo Kgaswane’s dipping effort hit the cross bar and both teams went to recess with Chiefs trailing by a solitary goal. From recess, it took chiefs seventeen minutes to get their well deserved equalizer, thanks to the combination of wingers Tshireletso and Molefe. Receiving a ball in the right wing on the 62nd minute, the pint sized Molefe twisted his marker into knots before delivering a well balanced shot into the path of Tshireletso to slot home Chiefs’ equalizer. Despite concerted efforts, Chiefs could not find the winner as their wastefulness in front of goals continued and both teams had to be content with a draw. The draw means Chiefs are still five points adrift of second placed Rollers and a further two from log leaders Orapa United.