EXTENSION GUNNERS 1 BR HIGHLANDERS 0
BR Highlanders continued their steep learning curve after the hastily promoted side suffered their second consecutive loss in less than five days, and their third of the season.
The Mahalapye outfit showed improvement despite going down 1-0 to Extension Gunners on Wednesday night at Molepolole stadium. The loss followed a humiliating 1-9 annihilation by Mochudi Centre Chiefs on Saturday, which has left the rookies rooted at the bottom of the league table with a single point.
All it took was a looping header from substitute Moamogedi “Pikati” Thatogo in the early minutes of the second half to break the resistance of the league debutants.
Highlanders started the match on a positive note, carving the first chance of the game as early as the second minute. Their most experienced player, Mogomotsi Ferguson who has donned the colours of BMC and FC Satmos, posed a threat to the Gunners defence linking up well with his strike partner. Their attempts were however thwarted by the Gunners goalie Takudzwa Ndoro.
The first half was a dull affair, with chances few and far between as neither team managed to take total control of the midfield. The Gunners midfield that matched Chiefs pound for pound last week was in total disarray and a few disgruntled voices from frustrated fans could be heard around the stadium.
Against Chiefs, coach China Mathaku had Tshepo Molefhe, Bobby Mothabankwe, Mollen Mabe and Monageng Thaele who gave their opponents a run for their money in the 2-3 defeat to the defending Champions. However for this match the experienced Molefe was left on the bench and the young Molhabankwe and Mabe were found wanting.
“This guy is slowly asking for his sacking. How do you leave a good player like Molefe on the bench when he was so brilliant in our last match? If we fail to win this game the coach must then take the blame,” said one frustrated Gunners supporter, directing his fury at coach Mathaku at half time with the score at 0-0.
However the former national Under 20 coach brought on Molefe at the start of the second half and he made an immediate impact.
Gifted with exceptional ball control and an eye for that telling pass, the former Township Rollers and Gaborone United midfielder dictated terms in the midfield with his trademark one touch-short passes.
There was some sense of urgency about Gunners; their danger Man Mponang Mponang finally received the passes he craved for and for a 10 minutes spell the Lobatse giants had the minnows pinned inside their own half.
With Highlanders front men showing signs of fatigue, especially veteran Ferguson, Gunners attacked in waves, with Molefe as the catalyst. The deadlock was finally broken in the 68th minute when what looked like a fairly easy ball to deal with was cheekily headed into the net after hesitation from Highlanders defenders.
Highlanders also had their chances and could have easily registered their first victory of the season. Their best chance came in the 50th minute after a good build up from Robert Seanwa and Fegurson, the latter picked up an unmarked Busang Roberts who only needed to side foot the ball into an empty net, but somehow managed to hit it over the bar.
After the match BR Highlanders Assistant Coach Mothusi Seditse said though his team lost, there were positives from the match.
“We defended very well against Gunners. What we desperately need at the moment are strikers, I believe with quality strikers on the field we would have got a result tonight,” he told Voice Sport.
BE MOBILE MIDWEEK RESULTS
Nico United 2-1 Township Rollers
BMC 1-2 Mochudi Centre Chiefs
Motlakase 2-2 Gaborone United
Tafic 2-1 BDF XI
Miscellaneous 1-0 Ecco
Mogoditshane Fighters 1-1 Prisons XI