Highbury upstaged in derby

HIGHBURY dropped precious points in the championship chase when they were defeated 1-0 by neighbours Real City in a Port Elizabeth derby of the Eastern Cape ABC Motsepe soccer league at the Gelvandale Stadium.

Highbury were favourites to win the match on Friday night after they humiliated City 3-0 in the first round at the NU2 Stadium.

City's leading goal- scorer, Lukhanyo Rasmeni, scored a dramatic winner in the 23rd minute of the first half to end Highbury's winning streak.

Highbury have only themselves to blame after missing myriad scoring chances.

The game was evenly balanced in the first 15 minutes, with both teams creating opportunities.

Highbury were unlucky not to score an early goal when a shot went just wide.

City's first scoring chance was on target to give them the lead at the break.

Highbury dominated possession in the second half, but failed to find an equaliser.

City coach Bonke Namba said it was pure luck to beat an experienced side like Highbury.

"I'm happy that we've collected full points from the match but it was unfortunate to receive these points from our dear friends and neighbours because these two teams are like brothers and we support each other.

"We didn't win the game easily because the battle was tough, but we will continue to support them in their quest to qualify for the play-offs because we wish Highbury can represent the Nelson Mandela Bay region and the Eastern Cape in the National First Division league next season," Namba said.

City remained in 10th position on the log standings with 23 points from 19 games while Highbury dropped to fifth spot with 39 points from 19 matches.

Highbury coach Garth Dickinson said he was disappointed with the result, but it was part of the game.

"We don't expect to win all the time, but it was unfortunate for us to lose a game at this crucial stage of the league," he said.

"The boys didn't play up to their potential and we had numerous scoring chances but we failed to convert them into goals."

Dickinson said they would have to move on and now focus on their next match. - Mthetho Ndoni