'Birds' fly past Wits

BidVest Wits' woes did not look like subsiding after the 'Students' lost 2-0 to the rejuvenated Moroka Swallows in a Castle Premiership match at the BidVest stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Eric Tinkler, a former Bafana Bafana player, was in charge of Wits after the departure of Boebie Solomns as head coach last week.

The visiting 'Birds' showed their commitment from the start as they charged at their opponents with ease and often caught the Wits defence flat-footed. They should have taken the lead in the 11th minute, when Japhet Zwane played a floating cross for the unmarked Henrico Botes, but his tame shot missed the target.

In the 14th minute, Cecil Oerson did put the 'Birds' ahead, after he dribbled past Wits defender Nhlanhla Kubeka, before he brilliantly chipped the ball over the advancing Moeneeb Josephs.

Two minutes later, Songwe Chalwe increased Swallows' tally to two after Oersons' first attempt was cleared off the line.

Wits were shaky in midfield as they struggled to string passes together and Swallows capitalised on their mistakes, with the 'Students' 2-0 down at half-time.

However, in the second half, Wits made a comeback and started to exert some pressure on the opposition back-line.

The 'Birds' got a fright in the 72nd minute when defender Bevan Fransman miss-kicked the ball inside his box and it fell in the path of Esau Mtsweni, but his shot hit the side-netting.

Swallows then regrouped and again took the game to their opponents, forcing Wits' defence to back-pedal. However, they failed to add to their two-goal lead.

'Birds' substitute Mame Niang nearly caught Josephs off-guard after a well-taken free-kick in the 88th minute, but the Wits goal-minder recovered in time to fist the ball away.

Once more, the evergreen Lefa Tsutsulupa underlined his class with a commendable performance in the heart of the 'Birds' midfield. Tsutsulupa showed tenacity in the middle of the park and there could be no better candidate for man of the match.

Swallows never allowed their grip on the game to slip as they soldiered on until the final whistle and came out the well-deserved winners.

The Teams:

Bidvest Wits: Moeneeb Josephs, Bruin Senokoane (Esau Mtsweni 46), Junaid Mashamaite, Nhlanhla Kubeka, Byrone Hedricks, Ashraf Hedricks, Marawaan Bantam, Julio Danilo (Phumudzo Manenzhe 70), Teboho Mokoena (Phil Evans 55), Rene Richards, Abrahm Raselemane

Substitutes: Wendell Robinson, Essau Mtsweni, Phumudzo Manenzhe, Richard Gariseb, Kenwyn Manuel, Phillip Evans, Noah Chiuta

Coach: Eric Tinkler

Moroka Swallows: Greg Etafia, Bevan Fransman, George Hummel, Rudy Isaacs, Mark Haskins (Jabulane Mendu 67), Lovers Mohlala, Lefa Tsutsulupa, Japhet Zwane, Cecil Oerson, Henrico Botes (Mame Niang 77), Songwe Chalwe (Evans Gwekerere 89)

Substitutes: Evans Gwekerere, Patrick Mabedi, Abrey Mathibe, Bongani Mbhele, Jabulani Mendu, Mame Niang, Patrick Twala

Coach: Gavin Hunt

Referee: Lwandile Mfiki

Assistants: Zakhele Sewela, Yugesh Anjith

Fourth Official: Victor Hlungwane

Match Commisioner: Jankie Mabitsela

Cautions: Isaacs (40), Zwane (51), Mohlala (65)

Match report by Walter Mabeba

- AmaZulu hold on for a point
- 'Birds' held to draw
- Preview - Moroka Swallows v AmaZulu
- 'Birds' to fight for second spot
- Reserve League update - 16/04/07

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Saturday, April 27
Castle Premiership:
Swallows v Maritzburg
Kick-off: 3pm
Venue: Germiston Stadium

April 21
Castle Premiership:
Drew 0-0 v AmaZulu
Venue: Germiston Stadium

April 8
Castle Premiership
Won 3-1 v Celtic
Venue: Seisa Ramabodu

April 1
Castle Premiership
Drew 1-1 v Chiefs
Venue: Germiston Stadium

March 11
Castle Premiership
Won 2-0 v Wits
Venue: Bidvest Stadium

March 3
Castle Premiership
Won 1-0 v Arrows
Venue: Germiston Stadium

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