Richards Bay win to remain unbeaten

PSL newcomers Richards Bay FC maintained their positive start to the 2022/23 DStv Premiership campaign, after a morale boosting 1-0 victory over the ambitious Sekhukhune United at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday night.

After a delay of more than an hour due to faulty floodlights, the match kicked off with Sekhukhune United starting on a positive note.

The travelling outfit asserted themselves in the opposition half in the first five minutes and carved out a couple of goal scoring opportunities.

As the dust settled, the Natal Rich Boyz saw more of the ball after the 10 minute mark but were unable to make way in the Babina Noko half.

Richards Bay were forced to make an early change, as Yamela Mbuthuma was brought on for Somila Ntsundwana, who sustained an injury that he was unable to recover from. Despite the change up front, the home team struggled to get the ball up field.

The best chance of the half fell for Tashreeq Morris just short of the 30 minute mark, as his well-timed volley summoned Jamal Magoola to make a telling save.

Sekhukhune looked threatening from set-piece situations, which gave Magoola work to do inside the penalty area. With the half-time whistle approaching, Sekhukhune looked to break the deadlock from every opportunity.

The game ended 0-0 at half-time, with Babina Noko being the more progressive of the two outfits.

Sekhukhune were down to 10 men early on in the second half, as Morris received a second yellow following a challenge on one of the opposition players. The visiting bench tried their best to contest the referee's decision, however, the official stuck with his decision.

In spite of the red card, Sekhukhune continued to pile on the pressure with coach Kaitano Tembo calling Tshegofatso Mabasa from the bench as an attacking substitution.

Sekhukhune continued to make offensive substitutions with the arrivals of Prince Nxumalo and Thamsanqa Masiya, while the Natal Rich Boyz introduced Luvuyo Memela from the bench with around 20 minutes to go.

Richards Bay opened the scoring in the 78th minute courtesy of Yamela Mbuthuma, who capped off a well constructed passing move on the edge of the Sekhukhune penalty area.

With five minutes left on the clock, Mbuthuma was replaced after picking up an injury as Moses Mthembu was brought into the game as yet another attacking switch.

The hosts continued to press on, as their numerical advantage began showing as the game aged. Sekhukhune saw much less of the ball and were reduced to hitting Richards Bay on the counter attack.

With the referee calling time, Richards Bay recorded maximum points with a 1-0 win at the King Zwelithini Stadium.

Richards Bay FC: (0) 1 (Mbuthuma 78’)
Sekhukhune United: 0

Richards Bay FC: Salim, Barns, Mthethwa, Mbua, Mabaso, Mhlongo (Mdabuka 65’), Msani, Zungu, Mathebula, Makateng (Memela 65’), Ntsundwana (Mbuthuma 18’), Mbuthuma (Mthembu 84’)

Sekhukhune: Nsabatha, Mobbie, Gyimah, Cardoso, Ntiya-Ntiya, Mokwana (Nxumalo 66’), Mntambo, Motsepe, Mokhabi (Mabasa 53’), Morris, Letsoalo (Masiya 66’).