Wits extend lead after edging out Highlands

Bidvest Wits secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Highlands Park in an Absa Premiership match at the Bidvest Stadium on Friday.

The victory saw the Clever Boys extend their lead at the top of the league standings, while the Lions of the North remained ninth on the table.

The Clever Boys were the better side in the opening stages of the game as they searched for an early goal.

Mxolisi Macuphu and Simon Murray, who are both strikers by trade, were looking livelly for the hosts - keeping the Lions of the North defence busy.

Macuphu missed the target with a header from close range after being set-up by in-form striker Murray in the early stages of the game.

Murray then had a good opportunity to break the deadlock, but the Scottish marksman was bravely denied by Highlands gpalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini.

The hosts kept pushing for the opening goal after the half-hour mark and they managed to break the deadlock after some good work by Keegan Ritchie.

The left-footed player delivered a good free-kick which was headed home by Thulani Hlatshwayo, who scored with aglacing header to make it 1-0 to Wits in the 38th minute.

Wits then stood firm at the back and they were leading 1-0 against Highlands during the halftime break.

The Lions of the North began the second-half well and they had a chance to level matters through Moeketsi Sekola 10 minutes after the restart.

However, the former Absa Premiership Golden Boot winner missed the target as Wits survived a scare.

Denzil Haoseb was introduced by Highlands head coach Owen Da Gama in the 61st minute as the visitors looked to restore parity.

Wits were happy to sit back and launch quick counter attackers following the introduction of speedy winger Deon Hotto in the 78th minute.

Both teams launched late attacks in search of a goal, but it never came and ultimately, Wits ran out 1-0 winners over Highlands on the night.

Wits (1) 1 (Hlatshwayo 38')

Highlands (0) 0

Wits: Keet, Hlatshwayo, Nonyane, Johannes, Monare, Murray (Motupa 90'+2), Hlanti (Hotto 78'), Mkhwanazi, Ritchie, Macuphu (Gyimah 60'), Dzvukamanja.

Highlands: Kapini, Sibande, Msimango (Mahlangu 86'), Fransman, Mokoena, Ramoraka, Mvala, Mbatha, Motlafi (Mbunjana 79'), Sekola, Shalulile (Haoseb 61').