Arrows up to fourth with TTM scalp


Golden Arrows maintained their unbeaten run and moved up to fourth in the DStv Premiership after edging ten-man Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila 1-0 on Saturday afternoon.

Arrows made only one change, as Siboniso Conco was recalled while TTM gave goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo a rare start, alongside recalls for Joseph Malongwane and Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo.

Abafana Bes'thende were on the front foot in the early exchanges and Velemseni Ndwandwe gave them the lead in the 19th minute with a close range finish at the near post after a cross by Divine Lunga.

The hosts should have been 2-0 up midway into the first stanza after Knox Mutizwa went clear on goal from a through ball but his low shot was saved by Mhlongo and Pule Mmodi latched onto a rebound but shot into a gaping net was blocked by Tebogo Thangwane.

Vhadau Vha Damani were reduced to ten men on the half-hour mark after Malongwane was red-carded for a lunging tackle on Mmodi.

Conco came close to doubling the lead for Mandla Ncikazi's charges just before the break with a low strike across the face of goal that missed the far bottom corner by a whisker and they had to settle for a 1-0 lead going to the break.

Arrows continued to be in control coming from the break and Mthokozisi Dube had a great chance to get the second goal for the hosts on the hour-mark after latching onto a loose ball at the near post but he scuffed his volley straight at Mhlongo.

Mmodi should have sealed the deal for Ncikazi's troops in the last quarter of an hour after a square pass by Mutizwa sent him clear on goal and with the net gaping but he guided his low shot wide.

Lebohang Mabotja almost conceded an own goal for TTM in the last three minutes after his attempted clearance of a cross took a wrong direction towards Mhlongo, who was wrong-footed but missed the bottom corner just wide.

Joel Masutha's men had a late surge at goal as Brandon Theron hit the crossbar in the last minute from a free-kick outside the box and on the rebound Ndlondlo crashed the woodwork on the same spot with a strike from range.

In the end Arrows held their nerve to clinch a 1-0 win that took them up to fourth on the table and extended their unbeaten run to ten matches while TTM stretched their winless run to seven games.

Confirmed line-ups:

Arrows: Mlungwana, Sibisi, Mathiane,  Ndwandwe, Conco, M.Dube, Makhubela, Lunga, Mmodi, Shitolo, Mutizwa.

Subs: N.Gumede, Parusnath, Ndlovu, L.Dube, Mtshali, Nkombelo, Sabelo.

TTM: Mhlongo, Lukhubeni, Ndengane, Mabotia, Thopola, Ndlondlo, Ngema, Malongoane, Rakhale, Manaka, Nevhulamba

Subs: Arubi, Thangwane, Timm, Ravhuhali, Maphangule, Mphambaniso, Theron, Nkili, Nedzamba