Despite a fast and furious game, arch-rivals Be Forward Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets were made to share the spoils in their Blantyre derby clash at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday but Wanderers had to swing up to the top of the table with a creditable point.
An ordinary opening half made way for a frantic second, which seemed to go by in a flash as the Blantyre rivals played up to the always highly-anticipated clash between the country’s top clubs in Blantyre.
But a resilient Nomads side, now unbeaten in 11 straight TNM Super League games, will feel the happier of the two having claimed a point, which takes them up to first position in the league standings.
The game started brightly for Bullets, who had plenty of chances but Wanderers have goalkeeper William Thole to thank as he saved shorts from Chimwemwe Idana and Mike Nkwate.
Thole had excellent performance and denied several goal opportunities.
Wanderers woke up and proceeded to dominate the second half and put their cross-town rivals on the back foot for most of the half.
The Lali Lubani Road outfit came closest when Babatunde Adepoju headed Zicco Mkanda’s cross narrowly over the crossbar after finding himself in acres of space inside the box.
A minute later, William Thole was forced into his first real save of the match when Nelson Kangunje had a go from a long way out, thanks to Chimango Kayira recovery and counter-attack from the middle of the park.
The last 15 minutes of the match was action packed?
Wanderers used neat touches and short, sharp passes to work their way past Bullets helpless left defence where Precious Sambani had difficulties to stop overlapping Stanely Sanudi and Francisco Madinga but poor decisions let the Nomads down.
Rabson Chiyenda made a stunning save on 80th minute to thwart Madinga from distance, with the midfielder curling a shot goalwards but instead finding a two-handed diving stop from Chiyenda.
It was going Wanderers way and Francis Mkonda also find a chance inside the box but his shot went wide to his disappointment.
Bullets also replied with a long-range stunner of their own when Chimango Kayira found the underside of the crossbar with his vicious attempt on 84th minute.
Wanderers were made to rue missed opportunities nine minutes from the end when Babatunde Adepoju failed to round-off a superb Nomads move which started with a burly run by Francisco Madinga down the middle.
Babatunde, however, got his feet caught up and could only chest his foiled shot tamely at a grateful Chiyenda, who was alone in the box.
On the other end, Chiukepo Msowoya who was kept in Dennis Chembezi’s pockets was put through on goal shortly afterwards but again could not beat Thole in a one-on-one situation.
In the end, it was a fair reflection on a breathtaking game which brought the crowd to its feet, courtesy of an encounter that was unlucky not to see a goal.
However, there were also some scenes during the match when the Nomads fans pelted bottles accusing the referee of poor officiation.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :