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Athlone Stadium
16/01/2009 20:00

Santos' Ryan Chapman shields the ball from Fabrice Rodrigues

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Santos, Wits share the points

Posted: 16 January 2009 Time: 22:12

A late goal from Marawaan Bantam earned Bidvest Wits a valuable 1-1 draw in Cape Town against Santos in the Absa Premiership on Friday night.

Santos opened the scoring through Mogogi Gabonamong just after the half-hour mark, before Bantams’ late strike saw the points shared.

The home side will feel hard done by the result, but have only themselves to blame for not capitalising on a host of scoring chances towards the end of the game.

The Clever Boys started the game looking like they meant business and Santos keeper Francis Chansa was called into action as early as the third minute when Tebogo Langerman cut in from the left wing and fired in a shot at the near post.

The resultant corner saw Langerman again coming close when his header was cleared off the line by Santos winger Graham King.

In the 17th minute the Clever Boys demonstrated their intelligence with a well-worked free kick that saw Bantam picking out Tefu Mashamaite at the far post while the home defence were caught flat-footed expecting a direct shot on goal. Mashamaite's first touch however was poor and a great chance went to waste as Chansa was able to move off his line and make a block.

Playing without the likes of Eleazar Rodgers, Romano Scott (both injured) and Tyren Arendse (on the bench), Santos looked somewhat disjointed in attack as both Ryan Chapman and Jurie Basie both made several poor decisions and incorrectly executed passes.

However, it was the home side who were to go ahead in the 32nd minute when Wits keeper Darren Keet was found wanting as King’s corner was allowed to drift over to the back post and fall into the path of Gabonamong, who did enough to steer the ball into the net.

The early stages of the second half were littered with mistakes from both sides, while goal chances were limited to long range efforts from King, Bienvenue Tipa and Erwin Isaacs.

In the 63rd minute the energetic King almost added a second when his free kick from 30 yards went just wide.

The Clever Boys’ were close to fashioning an equaliser in the 70th minute when substitute Samuel Ramasoeu’s header across goal narrowly eluded fellow sub Dale Studzinski and then Langerman’s effort from a tight angle went just wide.

Three minutes later Santos debutant Lennox Bacela nearly netted in his first PSL game when he followed up King’s shot, which was spilled by Keet, but the Wits keeper made amends to block Bacela’s effort.

Bacela was certainly amongst the action and he twice came close to getting on the score-sheet when he headed Tyren Arendse’s cross the wrong side of the upright and then came close to profiting from a mix up in the Student’s defence.

With Santos looking set for the win, the Clever Boys burgled a late point when Chansa went down under a heavy challenge in the box and Bantam was on hand to do the necessary.

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