Black Leopards moved three points clear of the drop zone in the Absa Premiership with a 2-1 victory over Stellenbosch FC on Sunday afternoon.
Mwape Musonda and Mogakolodi Ngele made a welcome return for Leopards, while Stellies gave a run to Alan Robertson and Zwelethu Ndlovu in defence.
Stellies looked to get into the top eight reckoning following three consecutive victories, but were under early pressure as Tshwarelo Bereng threatened the opener from range.
Lee Langeveldt then pulled off a stunning one-on-one save 28 minutes in after Ngele fed off an exchange of passes before the Stellies shot-stopper reacted quickly.
Lidoda Duvha would hit the front ten minutes before halftime when Musonda converted from the penalty spot after Iqraam Rayners was adjudged to have handled Ngele’s free-kick in the box.
Ngele should’ve given the hosts a second two minutes after halftime following a diagonal ball from the right, but fired into the side-netting after opening space.
Following a lively spell, Stellies began finding their feet again and made the first change on 61 minutes in Leletu Skelem who replaced Waseem Isaacs. The change was timeous as Skelem got goal-side to force Jonas Mendes to a point-blank save seven minutes later.
Skelem was denied yet again by the Guinea-Bissau international with 15 minutes to go, as the Leopards shot-stopper raced off his line to parry from close-range.
Mendes was finally beaten when Ryan Moon reacted to a loose abll in the six-yard area to fire into the near post area five minutes later.
However, Lidoda Duvha restored their lead with five minutes remaining after Thabo Matlaba collected a pass on the edge of the area to drill into the far corner.
Stellies threatened to go level in added time, but Sandile Mthethwa’s snap-shot hit the crossbar as Leopards got back to winning ways.
Stellenbosch: Langeveldt, Mobbie, Ndlovu, Mthethwa, Robertson, Scott, Matsi, Moon, Karuru, Rayners, Isaacs.
Subs: De Jong, Skelem, Van Rooyen, Maroole, Van Heerden, Gould, Bergman.
Leoprds: Mendes, Mudau, Zulu, Masia, Gyimah, Abubakar, Bereng, Matlaba, Musonda, Ngele, Kapinga.
Subs: Ndlovu, Ndou, Mcwango, Mokwena, N'gambi, Hlongwane, Ndlovu.