By CHRIS TOTOBELA
Our local sides are currently experiencing mixed fortunes in the SAB regional league. On Saturday, Makana Pillars came up against the high-riding Maru FC which is enjoying good form at the moment in another local derby, just seven days after beating City Pirates. As expected, Maru emerged victorious in that game, cementing their position on top of the log. Maru eased past Pillars by three unanswered goals.
Pillars are sitting at the bottom of the log standings with only one win and two draws. Things got worse for Pillars on Sunday as they lost via a walkover to Alicedale-based Friendly City, here at home. At the time of kick-off, the field that was supposed to host this game was unmarked which made it impossible for the game to take place. This was a huge blow for Pillars, as they had hoped to pick up a point or two in this home game to try and improve their rock-bottom position.
City Pirates, on the other side, are also finding their SAB campaign a bit tough but last Sunday things got better. Last Sunday sixth-placed City Pirates hosted Alexandria-based All Stars in their SAB regional league encounter. The game started with the home side having the better of the early exchanges, although they tended to panic at times and made unforced errors.
The visitors slowly gained control of the game – but missed several chances. City Pirates made use of the rare opportunity they got when Vuyolwethu Ponase tapped home a great cross from the right wing to open the score. All Stars tried to fight back, but could not find the net. Pirates went to the halftime break with a one-goal lead. Just after the restart, Aviwe Skera doubled the lead for Pirates.
All Stars fought back and also made some substitutions that made them look even better on the offensive side of the game. They pulled one back when their striker caught the Pirates’ defence napping and shot past the diving keeper. Pirates once again panicked and gave away possession easily and were relieved when Aphelele Tyelbooi took the All Stars left back to the cleaners before unselfishly laying the ball in the path of Mandilakhe Ntsendwana who made no mistake. Pirates managed to hold on to their lead until the final whistle.