By CHRIS TOTOBELA
It was a feast of football for Makhanda fans this past weekend. On Saturday, struggling Jacaranda Aces hosted newly promoted City Pirates in the local derby of the South African Breweries (SAB) Regional League. Both teams started the game nervously, giving away possession of the ball.
Aces got the first real chance of the game when the referee pointed to the spot after a Pirates defender misjudged his tackle and fouled the player, but Sinethemba Magi made a superb diving save to deny Aces the lead and kept Pirates in the game.
Both teams went to the halftime break goalless. Pirates came back in the second half and took the game to the tired-looking Aces and dominated the proceedings and were rewarded with four goals via the head of Nkululeko George and the boots of Bahle Ndyolashe, Sinathi Kom and Aviwe Klaas. At the same time, Awethu Katyana scored a consolation goal from the spot kick.
The game ended at 4-1 to the Pirates. Football lovers who packed JD Dlepu stadium to the rafters on Sunday enjoyed a doubleheader of the SAB Regional League clashes. In the lunchtime kick-off, Jacaranda Aces hosted Golden Chiefs from Alexandria. Abachthazi redeemed themselves and collected maximum points despite being a man down for the better part of the game.
Awethu Katyana opened the scoring from the spot kick, while Mzwanele Skap steered home a powerful header after a brilliant cross from the right wing completed a perfect passage of play. The visitors got a consolation goal late in the game, but it was a little too late as the Aces collected all three points. In the late kick-off, Maru hosted Alicedale-based Friendly city in another action-packed encounter that Maru was supposed to wrap up in the first half as they failed to capitalise on the numerous chances they created.
Sipho ‘Obua’ Rawana scored the only goal of the game for the hosts, to the delight of the local fans. Friendly city fought back furiously towards the end of the game, but Maru’s defence stood firm.