Lobatse giant’s out of relegation zone as revival continues
For the first time this season, Extension Gunners are out of the relegation zone after a hard-fought 1-0 win over a well-drilled BDF XI at Molepolole on Saturday.
With little to choose between the two sides, a second yellow card for the Army Boys combative midfielder, Godiraone Modingwane early in the second half proved the game’s defining moment.
Gunners, who up until the sending off had been on the back foot for much of the encounter, made the most of their numerical advantage, taking control of the midfield and ultimately the match.
In the end the fixture’s solitary goal came from Mosimanegape Ntwaetsile, his well-taken strike enough to secure Gunners’ second win in their last three outings.
The victory was especially pleasing for an injury-hit Mapantsola, who were missing senior players such as Lesego Galenmotlhale and Dirang Moloi.
Forced to field a young side, Gunners’ talented fledglings showed enough heart and desire for the fight to suggest they will avoid being sucked into a relegation battle come the end of the season.
It is the first real moment of light in a season cloaked in darkness.
Non-compliance with club licencing requirements meant the Lobatse outfit incurred a -6 point penalty before a ball had been kicked in anger.
Eight games into the season and the deficit has finally been wiped out, with Gunners currently on four points and occupying 12th place in the log.
They are unbeaten in their last three matches, a run that includes a 0-0 draw away at title chasing Jwaneng Galaxy.
Speaking to Voice Sport after his side gunned down BDF, Mapantsola’s centre-back, Mmoloki Kebalepile said the win could prove a turning point in their season.
“I am excited for the victory. These points that we have just collected are very crucial because we have been playing under a deficit.
“Nevertheless, if we start attaining these vital points going forward, hopefully we can finish the season in a better position,” said the 25-year-old, who had an excellent game in the heart of the Gunners defence.
Another to put in an eye-catching performance was Gunners speedy 22-year-old striker, Misani Thupa, who ran himself into the ground for the cause, keeping BDF’s backline busy for the entire 90 minutes.
Substituted in stoppage time to a standing ovation from his team’s hardy supporters, Thupa told Voice Sport he was living his dream.
“I have always had the ambition to play in the elite league but it was not an easy route because I spent a lot of time at third division league. I had to balance football with school work as my parents were very strict and wanted me to get an education. Finally, I was able to finish school and started playing what I love the most, football,” exclaimed the energetic front-man, who looks to have a bright future in the game.
Meanwhile both sides return to Premier League action this Thursday, with Gunners hosting TAFIC as they look to continue their recent resurgence.
BDF on the other hand, who will feel they shot themselves in the foot with Modingwane’s moment of ill-discipline, travel to Mahalapye to take on BR Highlanders.
BDF XI 0 – 1 EXTENSION GUNNERS
TAFIC 1 – 1 BR HIGHLANDERS
TOWNSHIP ROLLERS 2 – 1 NOTWANE
GILPORT LIONS 1 – 4 JWANENG GALAXY
MISCELLANEOUS 0 – 6 ORAPA UNITED
GABORONE UNITED 1 – 0 PRISONS XI
SECURITY SYSTEMS 1 – 0 POLICE XI
MORUPULE WANDERERS 1 – 1 MOLEPOLOLE CITY STARS