Highlands ease relegation worries

Collins Mbesuma © Backpagepix

Highlands Park edged out Chippa United 1-0 in an Absa Premiership match at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa on Friday night.

The win sees the Lions of the North climb up to the 14th spot on the league table, while the Chilli Boys slip down to the 15th spot on the log as the battle to survive relegation intensifies.

The home side threatened first through Collins Mbesuma, whose powerful shot missed the Chippa goal-posts just nine minutes into the encounter.

The Lions of the North were the better side in the early stages of the first-half, but they were forced to try their luck from range by the Chilli Boys defence.

Mothobi Mvala, the Highlands midfielder, unleashed a shot from range in the 22nd minute and it went wide of the target as the home side searched for the opener.

Chippa goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi had to be alert seven minutes later and he denied Highlands defender-cum-midfielder Zamuxolo Ngalo with a decent save.

Nevertheless, the Chilli Boys defence which was led by Justice Chabalala were able to contain the Lions of the North in the first-half and it was 0-0 at the interval.

Chippa striker Rhulani Manzini tried to fire his side into the lead four minutes after the restart, but he was denied by Highlands keeper Marlon Heugh.

With his side struggling to penetrate the Chilli Boys defence, Highlands caretaker coach Les Grober introduced Seun Ledwaba in the 53rd minute.

Ledward did make an impact as he was fouled in the Highlands box by Chabalala and the Lions of the North were awarded a penalty in the 64th minute.