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Match report: Points shared in Blantyre mini-derby

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Points were shared in the Blantyre mini-derby as FCB Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves drew 1-1 with Mighty Wanderers Reserves in the Southern Region Football League on Saturday afternoon at the Kamuzu Stadium.

Two second-half goals from our leading top goal scorer this season, Gift Lamowa, and young Nomad Stanley Mwanangele, saw what was a thrilling mini-derby end in a stalemate.

What happened

In the know that we had already beaten them twice this season in ties we managed to score seven goals to nil, the young Nomads made a daring start to the last game of Group B in the ongoing SRFL campaign.

Making their home ground advantage, Bullets Reserves who are currently the defending champions snatched the dominance from the visitors as the game rolled out.

In one of their attacks, Wongani Kaponya did well to glide forward down the byline with terrific pace before setting up Lamowa whose connection of the ball was somehow kept away by the opponent’s goalie.

After spending a lot of time absorbing the pressure we had relentlessly exerted on them in their half, Bob Mpinganjira’s boys then caught us on the break and we were left with a huge let-off as their decent attempt at goal hit the upright.

With grit and determination to tick the boxes our youngsters carried on with their quest for the breakthrough and the deadlock was never broken until the halftime break arrived.

At the restart coach Enos Chatama was forced to make a change after Macray Chiwaya sustained a recurrence of his groin injury and could only pave the way for Francis Malikebu to fill his void in the final half.

Interestingly the substitute went on to be involved, with a smart dummy, in our breakthrough ten minutes after his introduction.

Limbani Kutambe, who was handed a start after his impressive cameo in last weekend’s defeat against Zingwangwa, spread a magnificent through ball to find Chrispin Mapemba, who took time with the ball before setting up Lamowa to make it 1-0 with a simple finish.

Spurred by the vociferous fans, young Maule looked like they had just begun another massacre over their sworn enemies.

Nonetheless, the young Nomads, who are in the bottom three on the table, made several substitutions which made rapid changes in their play to claim a spell of dominance.

While under pressure, we were dealt with a blow after Kutambe, who was enjoying quite an impressive debut in the Blantyre mini-derby, suffered acute muscle damage on his calf and could only be forced to give way to Oscar Petro for the last 15 minutes of the tie.

With a lot of fresh legs, the visitors pushed forward with a rejuvenated drive and just when it seemed that young Maule could be able to see the tie out, the young Nomads struck in the 87th minute to make it 1-1.

In the closing minutes, we pushed forward for the late winner but the last act of the tie could only see captain Andrew Lameck’s well-taken volley miss the target by a whisker, 1-1 it finished.

What it means

With Saturday’s results, Bullets Reserves have finished second in Group B with 38 points, a point behind the winners of the group Fomo FC, who beat Ntaja United in their last group-stage match.

They will now look forward to the knockout stages.

Bullets reserves have for the third time this season dropped points after conceding in the 87th minute, a record they will look to iron out going into the most critical stage of the competition.

What Chatama said

“Bad result for Bullets Reserves. The way we played today, people came and they saw how we dominated and displayed excellent football. We could have finished the game but all in all it happens in football. The boys have to learn from now onwards, which is an experience for the future.”

Next

Having finished the group stages of the 2023 league campaign, our youngsters will now switch their focus to the Nyasa Capital Finance Cup, a competition in which they are progressing as best losers and are set to play host to a Division One side Ekhaya FC next week.

How we lined up

XI| Austin Chirambo, Happy Mphepo, Mussah Bwanali, Gift Jossam, Raphick Bahati, Andrew Lameck, Limbani Kutambe, Macray Chiwaya, Wongani Kaponya, Chrispin Mapemba, Gift Lamowa.

Used subs| Oscar Petro, Francis Malikebu.

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