'Students' roast the 'Birds'
Moroka Swallows suffered a shock 4-0 Castle Premiership loss to Bidvest Wits University at Germiston Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Bobbie Solomons' charges started the game with veteran and assistant coach Eric Tinkler playing in central defence, and once more, the former Bafana Bafana midfielder underlined his class with a sterling performance.
Swallows, however, nearly surprised the 'Clever Boys' as early as the first minute, after Zimbabwean striker Evans Gwekerere dribbled past Wits' Nhlanhla Kubheka. Gwekerere unselfishly laid the ball to Songwe Chalwe, but the latter shot over the bar with a gaping net in front of him.
The visitors, led by an industrious Teboho Mokoena, never allowed Swallows to enjoy their home-ground advantage, however, as they took the game to them - intimidating the near-capacity home crowd in the process.
Solomons was forced to make a change in the 30th minute when he replaced the injured Nhlanhla Kubheka with Eugene Phillips, but the score remained goalless at half-time.
After a glut of missed opportunities in the first half, Swallows coach Gavin Hunt introduced last season's top goal-scorer Maime Niang for the unimpressive Hendrico Botes, but that move failed to pay dividends.
It was the boys from the University of the Witwatersrand who got the opener from the boot of Marcos 'Pepe' de Jesus, who scored with a header after connecting a square pass from Noah Chivuta in the 58th minute.
Five minutes later, Solomons' boys increased their tally to two when Lucas Sebona played a beautiful square pass into the Swallows danger area, and the 'Birds' Mark Haskins put the ball into his own net.
Swallows exerted pressure after this own goal, but the Eric Tinkler-led defence stood firm throughout.
It came as no surprise when an overlapping Tinkler beat the off-side trap to score with a beautiful curling shot in the 76th minute. This goal virtually brought Swallows chances of a comeback to a halt.
Wits continued to display a businesslike performance, despite their three-goal margin, and the evergreen Marcos De Jesus put the final nail into the 'Birds' coffin when he connected a square pass from Ashley Makhanya to head his second for the day and give the visitors a stunning 4-0 triumph.
Moroka Swallows: Aubrey Mathibe, Mark Haskins (Lucas Twala 77th), Bjorn Gugger, Bevan Fransman, Goodman Mazibuko, Lefa Tsutsulupa, Tshweu Mokoro (Jabulani Mendu 65th), Songwe Chalwe, Hedrico Botes (Maime Niang 51st), Ashley Opperman.
Bidvest Wits: Moeneeb Josephs, Nhlanhla Kubheka (Eugene Phillips 30th), Ashley Makhanya, Ashraf Hendricks, Eric Tinkler, Teboho Mokoena, Noah Chivuta (Buti Sithole 86th), Mtsweni Essau, Marco De Jesus, Boitumelo Moleane, Lucas Sebona (Kagiso Dinge 70th).
Moroka Swallows: Evans Gwekerere (52nd minute), Miame Niang (60th minute); Bidvest Wits: Marcos De Jesus (ninth minute), Essau Mtsweni (75th minute).
Match Report by Walter 'Wally' Mabeba