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SWALLOWS NEWS
Shepard Brace Gives Ajax Vital Win 25/04/03
Dillon Shepard grabbed a brace in four minutes to help Ajax Cape Town beat Manning Rangers 2-1 in a Castle Premier Soccer League match at Chartsworth Stadium on Friday night as the Cape strugglers secured three vital points in aid of their survival cause.

Languishing second from the bottom going into the clash, Ajax responded with a workmanlike performance on the scene of Gordon Igesunds past triumphs - where he led Rangers to the PSL title.

The outcome of the match was decided in a frenetic five-minute spell during which Ajax raced into a 2-0 lead before the home side pulled one back through Macia Fernando.

The Urban Warriors recent acquisition, Alfred Phiri, was the architect of both goals.

First, the former Jomo Cosmos and Bafana Bafana midfielder sent Shepard through for the visitors 15th minute opener.

Four minutes later, the duo combined to devastating effect, with Phiri again setting up Shepard for his brace.

Rangers halved the deficit a minute later when Fernando latched onto Zama Hlatshwayos cross to haul his side back into the contest.

Things could have been different had Alton Meiring not squandered a glorious opportunity hardly a minute after the Urban Warriors first goal - one of the numerous opportunities the home side created.

The much-travelled striker contrived to blaze his shot over the cross bar while Sisa Nombes headed effort 12 minutes from time was disallowed for offside.

There is no doubt that Rangers boss Shepard Murape will be less than impressed with his strikers profligacy and his sides failure to convert their second half dominance into goals.

For Ajax, three more points against fellow strugglers Bush Bucks when the two sides meet on May 4 will go a long way towards securing their top flight status for next season.

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