Wasteful FCB Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves suffered their second defeat of the season in the ThumbsUp Southern Region Football League following a 2-0 loss to Tigers Reserves on Tuesday afternoon at Kamuzu Stadium.
The loss means that our youngsters have missed the opportunity to reclaim the top spot in Group B as they remain in second position with 26 points from 14 games, three points behind leaders Fomo FC, who also lost 0-1 to The Boys last Sunday in Mulanje.
As it was in their previous league match against The Boys last Wednesday, Bullets Reserves bubbled with abundant ball possession, confining the young Tigers in their half for most of the opening period.
Nonetheless, finding an opening proved something our creative hub could not work out. For half an hour we registered no shot on target. After that mark, we then staged a series of goal attempts.
Defender Gift Jossam hit the post with a decent effort from outside the box in the 37th minute, shortly after he forced the visiting goalie into a flying save with another powerful effort.
Gift Lamowa failed to tap in a Raphick Bahati low cross, and just before the halftime break, Wongani Kaponya saw his fierce strike parried away for a corner kick.
It was goalless going for the break thanks to our wastefulness in front of goal.
The hunt for the opening goal for us continued after the break and four minutes into the second half, Enos Chatama’s boys created another glorious chance when Limbani Kutambe, with a dink of a pass, nicely set up substitute Macray Chiwaya whose connection went straight into the palms of the visiting goalkeeper at the near post.
The fear of conceding a goal made the visitors make a double change when they brought in Daniel Chipambano and Joseph Banda for Alex Chilinda and Chimwemwe Kandoje.
With two new pair of legs, Tigers still struggled to contain our movement of the ball but despite all our dominance and a lot of chance creation, it would be the visitors who took the lead in the 55th minute when the unmarked Rashid Chirombo headed home from a corner kick to make it 1-0 in favour of Lawrence Nenula’s men.
Soon after conceding that goal, we were dealt with another blow when we lost Chiwaya to a recurring groin injury which had kept him out of action for three weeks before today’s game.
All the same, our quest for an equalizer carried on but just when we pushed for a response, we then architected our downfall when we defended poorly to allow the visitor’s number 9 Christopher Matia race into a one-on-one situation against our ‘keeper Joel Ngwira and the central striker made that chance count by hitting his target to make it 2-0.
With 20 minutes to go on the clock we never gave up as we pressed for our breakthrough in a tie, we were utterly dominant. The chances came in the final stages but the final whistle could only arrive without us being able to find an opening and 2-0 it finished as our youngsters suffered defeat at home.
What it means
Tuesday’s defeat means that our youngsters missed an opportunity to cut Fomo’s lead at the summit and reclaim the top spot in Group B of the 2023 Southern Region Football League.
We remain in second position with 26 points from 14 games, three points behind the Mulanje side, who lead the Group.
The loss is our first at home in the league in six years. The last time we lost at the Kamuzu Stadium in the Premier Division was in August 2019 when we lost 4-1 to the now TNM Super League side Red Lions.
What the coach said
“It was such a game which we could have easily won. The boys were complacent and played as if it was a friendly match. They never worked so hard. Against the run of play we conceded a goal. When we pressurized them, we conceded the second goal and it was over.
“It has been a trend whereby we are playing better but we are not scoring goals. We have to go back to the training ground and see what we can do in the future,” Chatama reacted after the match.
What will follow is the mini-Blantyre derby against Mighty Mukuru Wanderers Reserves on 24 September in the Aubrey Dimba Trophy in Mchinji.