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EPRFU Stadium
18/01/2009 15:30

David Radebe

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Birds held to a draw by Bay

Posted: 18 January 2009 Time: 17:58

Bay United and Moroka Swallows played to a 1-1 draw in the Absa Premiership at ERPU Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The match was quite uneventful and lacked any real bite. The Dube Birds took an early first-half lead through Sandile Ndlovu and were able to maintain that solitary goal margin for the rest of the half.

It was no easy task, however, as Swallows had to fight hard in defence to ensure they walked into the half-time break with a slender edge over their hosts.

United were constantly on attack in the first 45, but failed to produce any decent opportunities in front of goal, and they squandered the few chances they managed to create.

Eventually Umlilo did manage to draw themselves level in the second half, but not from open play. Siyabulela Songwiqi cancelled out Swallows lead when he equalised from the penalty spot.

The first chance of the game came in the tenth minute when Zamuxolo Ngalo let fly with a fierce shot from 22 yards out that had Greg Etafia in the Swallows goal beat, but to United's disappointment the shot skimmed just the wrong side of the upright.

A minute later the Birds grabbed the game's opening goal when Ndlovu pounced on a weak goal-line clearance to put his team in front. A good through-ball put Ndlovu one-on-one with Arthur Bartman who did brilliantly to stop his initial shot from only eight yards out which Vincent Kobola followed up on, but his shot was cleared off the line by the a United defender straight to Ndlovu. The Swallows striker was cool, calm and collected, side-footing the ball home from only four yards out, 1-0.

Umlilo pressed forward looking for the equaliser, coming closest in the 20th minute when a deep cross from the left wing found Gareth Ncaca, arriving late in the box and unmarked, but he squandered the golden opportunity from only ten yards out getting his feet mixed up before miss-kicking the ball completely.

The second half was more of the same as Swallows struggled to find and fluidity and consistency while United looked dangerous going forward.

The side from Port Elizabeth found the equaliser they deserved from the penalty spot in the 57th minute when referee Jonas Nhlapo adjudged Fabian McCarthy to have pulled down Ngalo inside the box. Songwiqi made no mistake from the spot burying the ball into the bottom right hand corner, 1-1.

Swallows nearly grabbed the game's winning goal in the dying minutes of the match with a flurry of chances, but veteran Bartman was up to the challenge providing a wall in front of his team's goal.

The game ended in a draw and both teams picked up a deserved point.

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