Richards Bay eye survival after victory over Arrows

Richards Bay FC made crucial ground in the hunt for DStv Premiership survival this week following a hard-fought 1-0 win against Moroka Swallows at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Richards Bay chipped away for much of the encounter as Swallows played much of their football inside their own half. With 10 minutes to go, first-half substitute Khuda Muyaba capped off a well-constructed passing move that earned his side maximum points over the club from Soweto.

Sitting in the Relegation play-off position, Richards Bay have now opened up a five-point gap over bottom of the log Cape Town Spurs with seven games to go.

The game commenced at a timid pace at the King Zwelithini Stadium with neither side creating any notable scoring chances inside the first 10 minutes. However, it was Richards Bay who saw most of the ball while Swallows were reduced to sitting in their own half.

Richards Bay continued to have the majority of the ball mid-way through the first-half but did little to trouble the Dube Birds backline. Swallows came close to capitalising on a defensive mishap in the Richards Bay box, however, the Natal Rich Boyz did well to diffuse the danger.

Swallows looked dangerous in counter-attacking situations but often fell short at the final hurdle. At the other end of the pitch, Richards Bay were relentless going forward and actively searched for the opening goal. Nevertheless, neither side were able to affect the scoreline as the referee called time on the first-half with the score tied at 0-0.

Richards Bay continued to dominate on the ball after the restart, with the Dube Birds being put under pressure early on. Vusumuzi Vilakazi’s side came close to opening the scoring in the 57th minute, after the Swallows goalkeeper was called into making a point blank save from a corner situation.

The Dube Birds battled under the Natal Rich Boyz pressure at the mid-way point of the second-half and struggled to make it out of their own half as a result. While Swallows had a rare corner situation in the 70th minute mark, Richards Bay did enough to deal with the attacking threat.

Following a sustained period of possession inside the Dube Birds half, Richards Bay eventually took the lead in the 80th minute as Muyaba got his name on the scoresheet. After picking up a clever position in the centre of the box, the attacker made no mistake from close range with a calm finish on the edge of the six-yard area.

It was route one football from Swallows during the closing stages of the match as Nyatama’s side pressed on for an equalizer. However, it was not to be for the Dube Birds as Richards Bay bagged a crucial 1-0 win on home soil.

Richards Bay: (0) 1 (Muyaba 80’)

Moroka Swallows: (0) 0

Richards Bay: Salim, Mabuya, Mthethwa, Dube (Komane 77’), Ndaba, Dlamini, Barns, Makhubela (Mthembu 46’), Mhlongo (Malepe 91’), Ntsundwana (Muyaba 28’), Figuareido (Gumede 46’)

Moroka Swallows: Akpeyi, Sibiya, Nyauza, Tshanini, Maponya (Mphahlele 74’), Mthethwa (Koapeng 84’), Phalane, Mahlonoko (Everson 46’), Mhango, Mbanjwa (Shwabule 74’), Mtshali