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Dobsonville Stadium
08/01/2011 20:15

Birds lose out at the death

Posted: 8 January 2011 Time: 22:39

Moroka Swallows came within seconds of claiming their first Premiership win of the season, but conceded a last-gasp equaliser to Free State Stars in their 1-1 draw at the Dobsonville Stadium.

Brad Ritson’s second-half goal looked to have secured three precious points for the Birds, but Madoda Motha netted in the sixth minute of injury time to secure a draw for Ea Lla Koto and send Swallows’ wait for a win into the 14th round of the League season.

Swallows almost grabbed the lead in the sixth minute when Giorgi Nergadze connected a well taken corner kick by Koketso Mmotong, but his header went over the bar.

In one of the more significant moments of the match, new signing Tshepo Ramokala had the Swallows bench on their feet in the 12th minute when he received an inviting pass from Siyabonga Nomvete, but with only Kennedy Mweene to beat his shot hit the upright.

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Petrus Mahlatsi, who was also playing his first game for Free State Stars, was well monitored by Ramahlwe Mphahlele in Swallows’ defence.

The Birds were almost caught napping in the 42nd minute when Thabo Matlaba zoomed past them, but the Stars left back could only watch in disbelief as his shot went wide with Greg Etafia at his mercy.

Swallows’ efforts were finally rewarded in the 68th minute when Ritson profited from a cross by Koketso Mmotong before beating Mweene with a great header to put his side in the driving seat.

Two minutes later, Ritson nearly doubled the lead but this time his header went inches wide.

Realising that time was running out, Stars’ coach Steve Komphela introduced Mpho Makola, Madoda Motha and Mxolosi Gumede in place of Noah Chivuta, Kingston Nkhatha and Manti Moholo in bid to reduce the deficit, and the trio changed the complexion of the game.

There was drama in the 86th minute when the referee gave Greg Etafia his marching orders for a second bookable offence and Gordon Igesund was forced to substitute Koketso Mmotong in order to accommodate reserve keeper Aubrey Mathibe.

When everybody thought that Swallows had finally registered their first win of the season, substitute Motha came like a thief at night when he rose above the defence to meet a Makola corner to score his side’s equalising goal during the referee’s optional time.

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