Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves missed the chance to reclaim top spot in the latest Thumbs Up Southern Region Football League (SRFL) Group 2 standings following a 0-1 defeat away at Changalume Barracks.
The hosts won a corner early in the third minute of which Hassan Alan nodded in to give Changalume the only goal of the match.
Coach Enos Chatama had made five changes to the team that defeated Mangochi United last weekend and hoped that the changes would inspire his side’s 10th win of the season.
Unfortunately, the young Bullets were off to a limp start in the game and they finished the first half lagging behind.
Fully aware of the fact that a win or a draw by any margin would help them finish the first round top of the standings, Chatama made four substitutions in search of an equaliser.
Chikumbutso Salima and substitute Wongani Kaponya showed a spirited performance in the final stages of an intense and physical game with clever runs into the box, but were denied by Changalume’s rearguard organization to salvage a draw in the jaws of defeat for Bullets Reserves, their second loss this season.
The last time the hosts faced Bullets Reserves was in the FDH Bank Cup and they were steamrolled by three goals to nil and on Saturday they were able to put up a performance resolute enough to register a payback in the league. 1-0 it ended on Saturday in favour of the military outfit.
The defeat means Bullets Reserves have missed the chance to surpass their Group 2 rivals MDF Marine at the top and the Mangochi-based side have now been confirmed as the first round winners of the group with 25 points after registering 10 wins, with Chatama’s boys coming second with 24 points.
There will be no time to sit back for young Bullets during the SRFL mid-season break as they will now be preparing to face Zingwangwa United in the final of the Powerstart Tayale Cup, before meeting TNM Super League side, Mighty Waka-Waka Tigers in the round-of-32 of the 2022 FDH Cup.