Hammers struggling to escape relegation

It is becoming extremely difficult for Ekwendeni Hammers to get out of the relegation zone in the TNM Super League as they are registering back to back losses.

Hammers lost yet another match on Sunday at Mzuzu Stadium when Moyale Barracks FC beat them 2-1 to claim derby bragging rights since Hammers earned promotion into the country’s top flight league.

Ekwendeni Hammers

The Hammers are glued to position 14 on the 16 team log table with only 15 points from 20 games now.

The Sunday game saw Moyale Barracks enjoying a lion’s share of possession in the first twenty minutes, very comfortable on the ball but failing to go near Hammers goal to trouble goalkeeper Chancy Mtete.

However, it was Hammers who first visited their opponents’ goal fiercely in the 29th minute. A long purposeful pass from Hammers’ half found Mabuchi Msiska inside the enemy territory. He raced towards the soldiers’ goal ahead of Moyale’s line of defence but alone failed to beat goalkeeper Macdonald Harawa who came in to narrow his angle and cut his shot with his left hand.

Moyale Barracks

The soldiers retaliated five minutes later through Charles Nkhoma whose powerful header was tipped away for a corner that never paid any dividends.

Hammers were again denied a lead in the 38th minute when Gift Chunga’s shot hit the left upright and there was nobody at the right place in the right time to make use of the rebound.

5 minutes into the second half, Hammers’ captain Chawanangwa Gumbo fed Gift Chunga with yet another beautiful pass but one on one with keeper Harawa, Chunga failed to score for Hammers.

Part of the action

Moyale’s right back, Ntopijo Njewa, overlapped in the 59th minute and when he received a pass on the right, he beat two men before crossing the ball inside. Because Hammers’ keeper was poorly positioned, the cross went past him and kissed the roof of the net in the far post. 1 nil to Moyale.

Moyale’s captain Lloyd Njaliwa scored the soldiers’ second goal in the 80th minute when he received the ball in the 18 metre box and beat one man before shooting past goalkeeper Chancy Mtete.

Wasteful Gift Chunga scored Hammers’ consolation goal in the 89th minute. 2-1 it ended in favour of Moyale Barracks FC.

Speaking to Nyasa Times after the match, new coach for Hammers, Gilbert Chirwa, said the players did not execute what they did in training.

“We made unnecessary mistakes. Positioning of the goalkeeper cost us the first goal. What the players were showing in training is not what they have done today. We still have a number of games to go and we will fight on,” said Chirwa.

The winning coach, Prichard Mwansa, said it was good to collect 3 points from Ekwendeni Hammers.

“It was a tough game but we are happy to collect three points today. We are happy that our players are playing good football and we hope to continue doing well and get good results,” Mwansa remarked.

Moyale Barracks FC is on position 8 now with 26 points from 19 matches. In the relegation zone, TN Stars FC and Rumphi United are below Ekwendeni Hammers on position 15 and 16, respectively.

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