|Bradley Ritson © Backpagepix
Bidvest Wits secured their first Absa Premiership win of 2012 and broke a 14-game drought as they overcame Platinum Stars 2-0 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on the final day of the 2011/12 season.
The Clever Boys scored their goals through Katlego Pule and Bhongolwethu Jayiya, though goalkeeper Eduan Naude, making his first start of the season, was arguably their key player as he made a string of good saves to keep Dikwena at bay.
After the teams exchanged some early half-chances, Stars’ Themba Ntumba almost scored a cracking long range goal in the seventh minute but Wits goalkeeper Eduan Naude tipped the shot over his crossbar.
On 16 minutes it was Jackson Mabokgwane’s turn to make a fine save, plucking Brad Phillips’ shot from the edge of the penalty area out of the air. But just two minutes later the ‘keeper was helpless to deny the Clever Boys’ Katlego Pule, who opened the scoring from close range after some sloppy marking by the hosts.
Wits extended their lead on 21 minutes when Bhongo Jayiya fired home a shot from the edge of the box, finding the top left corner of the net with his right-footed effort.
Stars almost pulled a goal back six minutes later, with former Orlando Pirates striker Chiukepo Msowoya directing a header on target, but again Naude was equal to the task and made a good save.
Msowoya had another headed effort a few minutes before the halftime break, but he was unable to direct it on target, leaving the visitors from Johannesburg 2-0 up at the interval.
Stars used all three of their substitutions within the first 15 minutes of the second half, but it was Wits who looked the likelier scorers and they almost added to their lead in the 53rd minute when Jayiya got a shot away from inside the penalty area, but again Mabokgwane again came up trumps.
Stars dominated the last quarter of the game, but they found Naude a hard man to beat: the goalkeeper again came up with a fine save on 81 minutes when he tipped Henrico Botes’ goal-bound header over the bar.
Platinum Stars 0
Bidvest Wits (2) 2 (Pule 18’, Jayiya 21’)
Stars: Mabokgwane; Mere, Thwala, Moloto, Ngwepe, Phala, Msomi, Jembule (Nyanda 51’), Ntsikelelo, Msowoya (Botes 46’), Ntumba (Paulse 60’)
Wits: Naude; Gumede, Phillips, Spencer, Adolph, Pule, Sibande, Jayiya, Sib. Vilakazi (Miller 87’), Langwe (Tshabangu 81’), Ritson (Sif. Vilakazi 83’)