Bidvest Wits beat Chippa to go top

One first-half goal by Phakamani Mahlambi and two strikes in the second half by debutant James Keene and Ben Motshwari gave Bidvest Wits the full three points as they beat Chippa United 3-1 at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Andile Mbenyane scored for Chippa and following the victory the Clever Boys move to the top of the Absa Premiership standings with 29 points, leapfrogging Mamelodi Sundowns while the Chilli Boys remain at the ninth spot with 16 points.

Wits came guns blazing and their efforts were rewarded in the eight minute when a cross from the left found debutant James Keene, who laid the ball to Mahlambi and he easily beat Daniel Akpeyi on his near post.

As Dan Malesela’s men tried to respond with a goal, Aristide Bance's long range effort went wide in the 18th minute, failing to trouble goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs.

In the 26th minute, Bance proved to be a handful for the Clever Boys’ defence and he unleashed another shot at goal, but Josephs was equal to the task as he parried the ball to safety.

After 30 minutes into the encounter, the Chilli Boys were too strong for Wits and William Twala saw his attempt sailing wide of the posts.

However, eight minutes later, the goalscorer Mahlambi tried a long range shot but it went straight to Akpeyi.

It was 1-0 at the interval and the second stanza saw the visitors grabbing their second goal when Keene finished with his right foot in the 47th minute, beating Akpeyi for the second time.

As the match became a tightly contested affair, a cross from the left met Bance in the 50th minute but his header went wide.

Three minutes later, a free kick down the right flank was flicked on by Andile Mbenyane, who beat Josephs on the near posts making it 2-1.

Towards the 70th minute, the Chilli Boys were all over the Students and Twala produced some skill on the left before delivering a great cross for Buyani Sali, however, the latter failed to connect with the cross and it went wide.

Against the run of play, United failed to deal with a cross from the right and Ugonna Uzochukwu tried to clear the ball but it fell on Ben Mosthwari’s path and he made it three with a powerful drive to beat the Nigerian keeper on his left post.

In the last six minutes, skipper James Okwuosa nearly bagged a second one for the hosts when he met a corner but the free header went inches wide.

With one minute to go, Okwuosa once again attempted a great kick to catch Josephs off his line, but the ex-Bafana Bafana keeper was alert and fisted the ball over to ensure they walked away as victors.

Chippa United (0) 1 (Mbenyane 53’)

Bidvest Wits (1) 3 (Mahlambi 8’, Keene 47’, Motshwari 76’)

Chippa United: Akpeyi, Thopola, Okwuosa, Chipeta, Mthiyane, Sali, Uzochukwu (Molangoane 81’), Chabangu (Sangweni 46’), Mbenyane, Bance (R. Manzini 61’), Thwala

Bidvest Wits: Josephs, Allie, Hlatshwayo, Klate, Pelembe (Nhlapo 88’), Mkhwanazi, Bhasera, Mahlambi (Botes 66’), Keene (Vilakazi 75’), Motshwari, Ntshangase