Wits secure deserved win


The in-form duo, who have been at the heart of Wits’ excellent start to the 2009/10 season (which sees them unbeaten in seven league matches), struck in the first half to put the Clever Boys in control of the game.

And when Collins Mbesuma was sent off with just over 20 minutes left to play, it was clear that the Dube Birds were not going to find a way back into the contest.

Swallows threatened early on, with Lungisani Ndlela forcing new Wits goalkeeper Francis Chansa into a good save in the third minute.

Ndlela’s aerial power almost provided the first goal in the ninth minute, with the beanpole striker rising highest to meet Lefa Tsutsulupa’s free kick, but the former Mamelodi Sundowns player couldn’t direct his header on target.

On 11 minutes Wits, against the run of play, took the lead with their first genuine attack. Strike pairing Evans Chikwaikwai and Calvin Kadi combined, with the former providing a cross for the latter to score his sixth league goal of the season.

Tsutsulupa had a decent chance to bring Swallows level in the 18th minute but he pulled his shot wide of goal.

Eight minutes later Kadi almost scored a second, shooting on target from close range, but goalkeeper Greg Etafia denied him with an excellent save.

However, there was nothing Etafia could do to deny Mark Haskins in the 32nd minute, as the former Swallows midfielder scored from close range to put Wits 2-0 up against his old team.

With the Clever Boys two goals up at the break, it was clear that the Birds needed to shake things up with a couple of bold substitutions. Hence, Siphamandla Vilakazi and Igor Alves made their way onto the field in place of Thato Ferland and Mfundo Shumana at the start of the second half.

However, the home side’s hopes of mounting a comeback were dealt a major blow when Mbesuma was sent off for a professional foul on goalkeeper Chansa, leaving the Birds with just ten men on the field.

On 70 minutes Wits almost extended their lead, with defender Junaid Mashamaite heading narrowly wide of goal from Sifiso Myeni’s corner kick. And just a few minutes later Kadi missed from close range after good work down the left flank from Rene Richards.

The remainder of the game petered out without too much incident, with Wits prepared to sit on their lead and Swallows unprepared to throw numbers forward in the fear of being caught short at the back.