With an exquisite performance, FCB Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves inflicted a heavy defeat to Mighty Mukuru Wanderers Reserves in the 2023 Aubrey Dimba Trophy quarter-final tie in Mchinji on Sunday afternoon.
Striker Gift Lamowa bagged a brace as Francis Malikebu and Gift Jossam also got their names on the scoresheet to ensure that we booked a place in the semi-finals of the trophy we won last year.
In an unfamiliar setting, the latest mini-Blantyre derby set up a spectacular show right from the start at the Aubrey Dimba Ground as the two city rivals looked lively with the intent to stamp their authority as early as possible.
Thirteen minutes into the famous fixture, we found our breakthrough. Malikebu, who is having his first season with us, dummied the Nomads defenders in the box with a cheeky piece of skill and with his weaker foot placed the ball past the Nomads’ goalkeeper Nuni Cassim to hand us a lead we truly deserved.
Immediately after going down, Bob Mpinganjira’s lads looked for a quick response and pulled up the pitch in large numbers. Nonetheless, as they were busy looking to fight for a comeback, we doubled the lead in a picturesque manner.
Upon receiving a neat pass from captain Andrew Lameck, Malikebu, who had just scored his first-ever goal for us, flicked a pass to Lamowa who incredibly rounded off the keeper before guiding the ball into the empty net to make it 2-0 to the good.
The scoreline remained like that until halftime with the young Nomads looking desperate to keep themselves in the tie before it completely slipped away.
Eight minutes after the resumption, the Nomads made a double change by replacing Chimwemwe Masha and Leman Kasiya with Everton Mponda and Samson Banda, but things could only get worse for them as we added a third at the stroke of an hour.
Lamowa took the ball from the centre circle area and brilliantly ran with it into the box before completing his brace on the day with an outside-foot finish to make it 3-0.
From that moment things looked like it was just a matter of how many we could put past our staggering opponents.
With less than an hour, Wongani Kaponya who was a constant tormentor to the Nomads’ defence was brought down 23 yards from goal and the resulting free-kick was sumptuously curved into the far corner by Jossam to make it 4-0.
There could be more but the late chances we created could not be converted, but the big Blantyre derby win was already confirmed for our youngsters as captain Andrew Lameck was voted Man of the Match.
What it means
With Sunday’s win, our youngsters are through to the semi-finals of the Aubrey Dimba Trophy where Santhe Admarc from Kasungu awaits to face us.
The result means that the defending champions are yet to taste defeat in the central region outings in six years and that their dominance in mini-Blantyre derbies continues. Earlier this season our youngsters swept past the young Nomads 3-0 in the ThumbsUp Southern Region Football League.
Having had a rugged path in their last five matches, which saw them registering a single win and a single defeat with three draws, the derby win on Sunday afternoon is surely a big boost to Chatama’s squad which is currently depleted by injuries.
What the two managers said
Coach Enos Chatama: “It was a very good game. When we were coming into this game, we did not have the confidence as the boys did not fare well in the last five games. The boys played according to instructions today; they defended very well and hit the opponents hard on the counter. We scored four beautiful goals which is good for the team. Now the journey continues, we still have two games to go before we wrap up this campaign.”
Coach Bob Mpinganjira: “We have lost, let us accept we did not play well. Our boys never settled down from the start. The goals we conceded we could have avoided. Let’s accept we did not play well and that’s why we lost.”
What will follow now for young Maule is the SRFL action as they will now look to continue their push to get back on top of the Group B standings.
Austin Chirambo, Happy Mphepo, Mussah Bwanali, Gift Jossam, Raphick Bahati, Andrew Lameck, Limbani Kutambe, Francis Malikebu, Wongani Kaponya, Chrispin Mapemba, Gift Lamowa.
Raphick Ndeule, Lyton Chinong’one.