Sekhukhune down Royal to continue fine form

Sekhukhune United continued their fine form in the DStv Premiership by defeating Royal AM 1-0 at the Ellis Park Stadium on Saturday evening.

The result – secured by a goal early in the second half from defender Edwin Gyimah – means Babina Noko have won five of their last six league matches and moved to third place on the log, while Thwihli Thwahla suffered a first defeat since August and dropped to fifth place.

The first chance of the match went the way of Sekhukhune, with Seth Parusnath given a sight of goal after some slick passing from the hosts, but his 12th-minute shot flashed off target and was no trouble for Royal goalkeeper Hugo Nyame.

Midway through the first half Babina Noko had another chance to claim the lead, with Pogiso Mahlangu working some space in the penalty area before whipping a shot just over the crossbar.

Royal had half-chances of their own, with Victor Letsoalo and Levy Mashiane both pulling efforts wide of the mark, though generally Sekhukhune goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata was well protected by his defence.

The half came to a close with the teams still locked at 0-0, though the hosts would have felt that they just about had the better of the exchanges in the first 45 minutes, including a late effort from Nkanyiso Madonsela which was narrowly wide.

Sekhukhune made a change at the start of the second half by introducing Tshediso Patjie off the bench, while an early chance for Royal’s Samuel Manganyi saw a deflected header flash just over the top.

The hosts continued to build pressure and were rewarded in the 50th minute when Edwin Gyimah sent an effort beyond the reach of Nyame to put Sekhukhune 1-0 up and in control of the game.

Thwihli Thwahla pushed for an equaliser in the remainder of the game, though Sekhukhune’s introduction of Vusimuzi Mncube and Willard Katsande allowed them to keep their opponents at bay.

Nonetheless, Sekhukhune still needed Nsabata to make a fine save to deny Mashiane on 81 minutes, as the visitors looked to keep alive their eight-game unbeaten run, but it was not to be.

The teams will be back in DStv Premiership action next weekend, with Sekhukhune away to Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday 27 November and Royal at home to Stellenbosch FC the following day.

Sekhukhune United (0) 1 (Gyimah 50’)

Royal AM 0

Sekhukhune United:Nsabata, Mobbie, Motsepe, Gyimah, Jampies, Maart, Leepile (Lukhubeni 88’), Parusnath (Patjie 46’), Madonsela (Mncube 72’), Mahlangu, Nxumalo (Katsande 63’)

Royal AM:Nyame, Lingwati, Mahashe, Manganyi, Mkhize, Mahlasela, Phalane, Monamodi, Mashiane, Potsane, Letsoalo