HIGHBURY maintained their title challenge, beating Morning Stars 1-0 in an Eastern Cape ABC Motsepe League match at the Gelvandale Stadium at the weekend.
Lazola Kunene scored the only goal in the second half of the match between the two Port Elizabeth teams in the provincial semi-professional league derby.
Both teams started at a good pace and looked determined to score an early goal.
Highbury dominated the first half, but the Stars’ defenders were solid, giving the home side’s strikers no chances. Stars had scoring chances in the final minutes of the first half, but failed to convert those opportunities. The score was 0-0 at half time.
Highbury came back strongly in the second half and scored shortly after the restart. Kunene’s goal gave his side three points to help them stay in touch with the log leaders.
Stars tried to come back into the game but Highbury defended their territory like tigers.
Highbury dominated ball possession in search of a second goal but Stars’ goalkeeper made several crucial saves.
Stars searched for an equaliser but they were denied scoring chances.
Second-placed Highbury collected maximum points and the Port Elizabeth side remains near the top of the table in pursuit of log-leaders Angavu Stars, of Queenstown, with both teams winning the weekend fixture games.
Angavu Stars and Highbury share 57 points from 26 games but Stars are leading on goal difference and there are only three games remaining before the end of the league season.
Highbury coach Garth Dickinson said the game was tough and they did not have any scoring chances in the first half.
“I was hoping we were going to score as early as possible, but I’m happy with the three points and the race to the finish line is becoming tense and tight.”
Meanwhile, another Port Elizabeth semi-professional side, Real City, played to a dull 0-0 draw against neighbours Cacadu United in the ABC Motsepe League at the NU9 Stadium on Saturday.
Both teams had scoring chances but they struggled to find the back of the net. – Mthetho Ndoni