Pillars and Santos mired in controversy

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By: CHRIS TOTOBELA

The great weather matched the standard of football that was on display on the Makana LFA league over the past weekend. Saturday 5 May saw a full day of fixtures, including two drawn matches, while Sunday 6 May saw a cancelled fixture and a surprising main event mired in controversy.

On Saturday, Santos came from behind to level the score 3-3 against Newseekers, while the perennial whipping boys of the league Grahamstown United received another heavy hiding by 7-3 to Young killers. Joza Callies and Love and Peace played a 1-1 draw while Newtown City lost to City Pirates by 3-0.

On Sunday Sophia stars’s opponents did not pitch. Young killers outplayed Future stars by 4-0. In the main game of the weekend Makana pillars took on Santos. It was clear from the word go that both teams came for all the points that were on offer.

After some initial pressure from fans and players saw the referee leave the pitch, the game soon got back underway once the he was persuaded back onto the field. From there, Makana pillars controlled the game and took the lead after a well placed through pass found Luvuyo Tyotha unmarked. Santos were rewarded for their efforts to fight back into the game after a great shot from their right winger hit the crossbar only to be finished off by Lindokuhle Kula. The teams went into the break level at 1-1.

Pillars took the lead straight from the restart via the boot of captain, Siyabonga Nohesi, who caught the Santos defence sleeping. Pillars conceded the equaliser when they failed to clear the ball after a Santos free kick. This allowed Lindokuhle Kula to guide home his second goal of the match. Both teams pushed more bodies forward in search of a winner, but it was too little too late as the final whistle sounded, with a final score of 2-2.

After the game, Nohesi expressed his disappointment with the tournament officials. “It was a tough game that I really enjoyed. I think the referee tried his best but I am very dissapointed with our Makana LFA officials,” said Nohesi. “Some of the Santos players were drunk which is why they kept on arguing with the referee and we had to play against drunk players because the officials were not here to see this and stop them from playing. They only come to the field when it suits them and it is unacceptable as the referees and players are not safe,” added Nohesi.

Santos captain, Phelisile Buwa, apologised for his players’ poor state on the day. “The game was tough and the referee handled it well. Yes we had few players that were drunk and we asked the coach not to play them but he insisted. I would like to apologize to the opponents, football fans and everyone who is present here [for the behaviour of the players]and reassure them that this will never happen again,” said Buwa.

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