High-flying Richards Bay back to winning ways

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Sanele Barns
Sanele Barns

Richards Bay FC returned to winning ways in the DStv Premiership with a 2-0 victory over relegation-threatened Marumo Gallants FC on Saturday afternoon.

Zimbabwean Ranga Chivaviro earned a start after rescuing a point against Stellenbosch FC from the bench, with Siyanda Msane back for Richards having missed the loss to Mamelodi Sundowns.

Gallants haven’t had a promising but rather disappointing resumption of the campaign and before their 1-1 draw against Stellenbosch FC, lost three consecutive matches and slumped to the bottom.

Richards Bay, who have stunned many in their debut campaign that has seen them rub shoulders with the pace-setters, failed to regain second spot as the loss to Sundowns kept the outfit in third spot.

The host were pushed to a substitution over five minutes before halftime, as Joseph Malongoane slotted in from the dugout for forward Sibusiso Sibeko.

As the Natal Rich Boyz brought on Abel Mabaso for Nkanyiso Zungu, the host carved out the first chance of the second half when Malongoane slammed a cutback from a tight angle across the face of goal.

Richards Bay responded a little to the midway point of the second half and had Somila Ntsundwana slam a loose ball from an awkward position wide of target.

Bahlabane Ba Ntwa pulled out a reply seconds later when Katlego Otladisa cut inside from outside the area and curled well beyond the far corner.

Gallants were down to ten players before the closing ten minutes as Sibusiso Khumalo got a straight red from referee Jelly Chavani for a poor foul around the middle of the park.

The Natal Rich Boyz made the breakthrough on exactly ten minutes from time when Sanele Barns pounced on poor defensive play and slotted over Washington Arubi.

Richards Bay bagged a second six minutes later as Tshepo Mabua reacted sharp to a rebound in the area following a set-piece and turned past Arubi.

The visitors maintained their comfortable cushion ahead of fulltime and registered the victory to regain second spot ahead of SuperSport United.

Confirmed line-ups:

Marumo Gallants: Arubi, Nkomo, Mabotja, Mphambaniso, Kumalo, Mdlinzo, Chivaviro, Ngema, Khiba, Otladisa, Sibeko

Subs: Watenga, Kgoetyane, Pheko, Bobete, Monyepao, Yidah, Maraisane, Makudubela, Molangoane

Richards Bay: Magoola, Maphathe, Mabua, Mthethwa, Nyauza, Mathebula, Barns, Zzungu, Ntsundwana, Mthembu, Msane

Subs: Jacobs, Hlongwa, Ochieng, Dlamini, Mtolo, Majadibodu, Mabaso, Mbuthuma, Mabuya.

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