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Bullets Reserves miss chance to reclaim top spot with 0-0 draw against Changalume

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FCB Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves were held to a goalless draw by Changalume Barracks in the ThumbsUp Southern Region Football League at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Having registered their second goalless draw of the season, our youngsters fluffed an opportunity to reclaim the top spot in Group B of the competition.

Now on 12 points, Enos Chatama’s boys sit second in their group with just a point behind leaders Fomo FC.

What happened

The premier division defending champions made a fine start to the tie by claiming large proportions of ball possession.

With the ball always with our youngsters, we somehow failed to make inroads in curving open the well-sit Changalume Barracks backline.

As minutes elapsed, chances became even scarcer that for half an hour there was no shot on target by either side.

Chrispin Mapemba, who stole the show during the mini-Blantyre-derby last week, then looked to stir things up with his long-range strike which was cleared off at the goal-line by the visitors’ defender as the goalie was out of his area to deal with a one-versus-one situation.

That first shot on target of the tie was followed up by the visitors knocking at our door on the other end but goalkeeper Joel Ngwira was alert to deny the Zomba-based military side from breaking the deadlock.

A fixture that proved to be high-scoring last season at the same venue, was by the end of the opening half, goalless with the two sides only able to register a single attempt on target each.

With a considerable improvement in terms of aggressiveness, our youngsters returned from the break looking to force the visitors open.

Nonetheless, Changalume’s game plan to frustrate our attacking play by lying deep in bunches at the back proved to be working for them.

We could not create clear chances as all penetrative spaces were calculatingly narrowed and blocked.

In the 73rd minute, Wongani Kaponya, who scored a beauty of a strike last week against Mighty Mukuru Wanderers Reserves, produced a rasping volley of which the visitors’ goalie fumbled away and following up was Macray Chiwaya who wasted what was the most glorious chance of the tie with a lame rebound strike.

Chasing the game in the dying minutes, Kaponya wriggled through the opponents but his last touch kept letting him down.

In stoppage time, Mapemba hit the post with a dangerous freekick from afar and later saw his strike miss the target by a few inches.

While we were hurrying up everything with hopes of winning it late, the centre referee Mwayi Msungama blew the whistle for the tie to end goalless.

What it means

Having recorded the second goalless draw of the season, the young Bullets are now on 12 points after six games.

The result will feel like a missed opportunity for Chatama’s boys, who if they had not dropped points could have reclaimed the top spot of Group B, a place which was taken away by Fomo when they defeated Ntopwa 1-0 at the Mulanje Park on Saturday.

Chatama’s reaction

“It was one of those bad days at the office, we did not play very well. We did not create a lot of chances. It was a game in which we did not dominate. We started pressurizing them in the last 10 minutes, something which is not good when we are playing at home. The boys did not live up to the billing, our expectation was not to draw, but all in all, it happens in a game of football.”

Next
Another league fixture follows up Sunday’s goalless result. Waiting to play host are Waka Waka Tigers Reserves in what will be our seventh match of the campaign.

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