Richards Bay win derby to go top

Richards Bay were forced to dig deep for a 1-0 win over their KwaZulu-Natal rivals Royal AM in a DStv Premiership match at the Chatsworth Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The victory elevated the Natal Rich Boys to the top of the standings as they continue to impress in their debut season in the local top-flight league. Richards Bay will now host TS Galaxy on 18 September.

While Thwihli Thwahla slipped down to second place on the standings after suffering a narrow defeat against their provincial rivals. Royal AM are scheduled to face Eswatini's Highlanders in a CAF Confederation Cup game on Sunday.

Thwihli Thwahla were the better side in the opening exchanges with Shadrack Kobedi forcing goalkeeper Salim Magoola into a decent save with a long-range shot. However, the visitors looked dangerous whenever they pushed forward and they managed to break the deadlock in the 27th minute with Luvuyo Memela netting his first goal for the Natal Rich Boys.

Keeper Hugo Nyame failed to handle a ball from the right and he blocked a shot from Memela who then scored from the rebound to make it 1-0 to Richards Bay. Royal AM came close to leveling matters just before half-time when Lantshane Phalane's rasping shot from a free-kick hit the crossbar with Magoola well-beaten and the score was 1-0 to Richards Bay at the interval.

The hosts pushed for the equalizing goal after the restart with Jabulani Ncobeni replacing Kobedi. Thwihli Thwahla launched most of their attacks through the right-hand side with Magoola forced to make two good saves from cross-come-shots made by Shauwn Mogaila and Mfundo Thikazi who came into this game having netted a brace against Sekhukhune United.

Thikazi, who looked the likeliest Royal AM player to score in the latter stages of the match, had an opportunity to snatch a late equalizing goal from close range, but somehow the left-footed player fired wide of the target, and Ruzaigh Gamiliden's low shot was well saved by Magoola who ensured that the game ended in a 1-0 win in favour of Richards Bay.

Royal (0) 0
Richards (1) 1 (Memela 27')

Royal AM: Nyame, Mabua, Cele, Manganyi, Kobedi (Ncobeni 59'), Phalane, Mzila (De Jong 66'), Mogaila, Mahlasela (Gamildien 76'), Thikazi, Sera (George 76').

Richards Bay: Magoola, Maphathe, Msani, Mabua, Mcineka, Nyauza, Mabaso, Barns, Mhlongo (Mathebula 67'), Ntsundwana (Mbuthuma 85'), Memela (Mthembu 76').