Swallows shock leaders Stars
Moroka Swallows caused the biggest upset of the weekend when they registered a morale-boosting 1-0 win over Castle Premiership log leaders Silver Stars at Germiston Stadium on Sunday.
In the first half, Silver Stars had a slight edge in a number of attempts on goal, while Swallows also gave as good as they got.
From the 10th minute, however, it was clear that the Silver Stars defence, led by Willem Jackson, was going to have a torrid afternoon with Evans Gwekerere, and Songwe Chalwe turning them inside-out at will - and often left them sprawled on the turf - only to be rescued by their ever-alert goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands.
Edward Williams came within inches of scoring in the 19th minute, only for his shot to be saved by Swallows Goalkeeper Greg Etafia. Edward Williams - who delivered a tenacious display in the middle of the park - also saw his other well-struck shot miss the goal-post after a poor clearance from a corner kick.
The 'Tycoons' nearly took the lead in the 35th minute, with Tshepo Mokala's well-taken corner kick cleared off the line by Bevan Fransman. Two minutes later, Swallows' Cecil Oerson beat Stars' Sandilands - but the ball was cleared off the line by the experienced Willem Jackson.
Silver Stars' main threats, Simba Marumo and Fadlu Davids, sniffed around for a first-half goal, but were tightly marked by Patrick Mabedi, and Bevan Fransman at the back, with the half-time score was 0-0.
In the second half, Swallows introduced Japhet Zwane for the ineffective Mark Haskins, whilst they also called upon lanky goal-machine Maime Niang - for Evans Gwekerere - in the 65th minute.
Despite those changes, however, it was Silver Stars who made the first second-half attempt - only for Simba Marumo's header to fly off-target.
After a clutch of missed opportunities, Silver Stars coach Owen da Gama introduced Koketso Mmotong in place of Solomon Mathe, the latter a shadow of himself when he won the Man-of-the-Match Award during their league against Chiefs last week Wednesday. Da Gama's Swallows counterpart, Gavin Hunt, replaced a tired looking Lovers Mohlala for Ngepe Chaka.
During the flurry of changes, and with time running out, it still looked like anybody's game, but both teams looked like running short of ideas when entering each other's goal-mouth.
But substitute Thulani Ngcepe - who recently joined the senior Swallows squad from the Development ranks - had an idea of his own, with the youngster virtually coming from nowhere to seal the win, and the three points, with his last-minute score.
Moroka Swallows: Greg Etafia, Bevan Fransman, Patrick Mabedi, Lovers Mohlala, Goodman Mazibuko, Mark Haskins, Tebogo Monyai, Lefa Tsutsulupa, Cecil Oerson, Evans Gwekerere, Songwe Chalwe.
Coach. Gavin Hunt
Silver Stars: Wayne Sandilands, Willem Jackson, Beki Ndlovu, Sipho Mchabe, Stanley Kgatla,Edward Williams, Solomon,Mathe, Thuso Phala, Tshepo Ramokala, Fadlu Davids, Haraipha Marumo.
Coach. Owen da Gama
Swallows: Lovers Mohlala (72), Sipho Mchabe (89).
Silver Stars: Willem Jackson (81).
By Walter Mabeba