TOKELO Majoro’s first half goal was enough to hand Matlama a much needed 1-0 win against Linare in a Vodacom Premier League (VPL) match played at LCS Ground yesterday.
This was Matlama’s second win in five matches having played out three consecutive draws.
The Sea Point outfit broke the deadlock just 18 minutes into the match after Majoro received the ball unmarked inside the Linare penalty area.
The diminutive midfielder took his chance and calmly placed the ball beyond Linare goalkeeper Kholuoe Phasumane.
Linare attempted a fight back and Matlama goalkeeper Monaheng Ramalefane was forced to push out for a corner Themba Mzamane’s cracker in the 23rd minute.
The match failed to live up to expectations as both teams struggled with their rhythm.
However, Linare also came close to equalising five minutes before the break, but Nyakhane Nyakhane was unfortunate to see his free header from inside 18-yards cleared on the line by John Mohai.
Linare introduced Rethabile Selonyane for Hlompho Ramanki soon after the half time break in a bid to find the equaliser.
However the substitution did not pay off and 10 minutes later Linare also brought on Napo Sehloho for Tefo Maipato.
Matlama made their own changes bringing in Tankiso Makhutla and Motebang Sera for Mabuti Potloane and Makhetha Thakeli respectively on the hour mark.
Makhutla brought stability to Matlama’s midfield knocking the ball around and bringing his teammates into play.
Matlama were dealt a heavy blow on the 70th minute when defender Michael Mireku had to be replaced by Thabo Tekane after twisting his ankle.
Ten minutes before the final whistle Linare also made their last change bringing in Daniel Lekoatsa for Themba Mzamane.
A minute later Tse Tala were unlucky to see a well taken shot by Rapule Sello from outside the penalty area hit the cross bar.
Matlama coach Moses Maliehe praised his charges for showing character to beat Linare.
“It was not an easy match because Linare came prepared but I give credit to my boys who worked very hard and I am happy with the result,” Maliehe said, adding, “We do not want to let the win blind us, a lot of things need to be worked on but at least they are trying”.
Motlatsi Shale who had handed his resignation letter to the Linare management on Thursday said his boys worked hard and he accepted the loss.
“There was just a lapse of concentration and we got punished but I give credit to my players they did a good job considering all the things that happened this week while preparing for this match,” Shale said.
Shale said he was “only here because of the players otherwise I would not be here and they are the ones who begged me to come back.”
“I left because management does not care about the players. They are very selfish they do not even know how and why I am here. I am only doing this because I want to help the players as they have showed trust in me but I really cannot say if I still have a future with this team,” Shale said.
Elsewhere in the VPL, LDF beat Likhopo 1-0 to register their first win at Ratjomose ground.
Lioli hammered Sundawana 2-0 to leapfrog LMPS into pole position but the table could change again if LMPS beat Bantu or if third-placed Kick4Life beat LCS this afternoon.