Beefy in winning start

BULAWAYO – How Mine rallied back from a goal down to collect maximum points against city neighbours Chicken Inn with a 2-1 victory in a drab Castle Premiership encounter at Luveve Stadium on Wednesday.

A strike from super substitute Timothy January and a penalty conversion by set piece specialist Menard Mupera cancelled out Tendai Ndoro’s first half effort to earn the gold miners some form of revenge over their opponents who were 1-0 winners in the reverse fixture.

How Mine new head coach Philani ‘Beefy’ Ncube was over the moon after registering a win in his first match after taking over from Philani Mabhena.

“It was a game of two halves and we conceded a very stupid goal but we managed to regroup and after getting a very encouraging equalizer we managed to get our act together,” Ncube said.

The How Mine gaffer was responsible for Chicken Inn’s promotion into the elite league a couple of years ago and used his knowledge of the team to his advantage yesterday.

“I know their strengths and weaknesses because that is a team that I built. For instance, their defence has a problem in dealing with crosses and we capitalized on that and managed to get our goals.”

The Game Cocks raced into the lead on 24 minutes when the country’s leading goal scorer Ndoro struck his twelfth goal of the season after finishing off a spill by How Mine keeper Notice Dube who failed to cleanly hold on to a ferocious Brian Mbiriri free kick.

Ndoro had the ball in the back of the net on 41 minutes after another spill by Dube but his effort was ruled out for offside.

After the break How Mine introduced Xolisani Moyo and Simon Njeleza with January and Eddy Nkhulungo and the changes paid dividends when the two combined for the equalizer on 70 minutes.

Defensive linkman Danny Phiri then handled under pressure on 81 minutes and impressive referee Hardly Ndazi awarded How Mine a penalty which Mupera converted.

Chicken Inn substitute Evans Chikwaikwai thought he had grabbed the equalizer for his side with a minute left on the clock but his effort was also ruled out for offside.

Game Cocks head coach Mandla Mpofu bemoaned the disallowed efforts in his post-match interview as he felt they should have been allowed to stand.

“Maybe my understanding of the laws of the game is not up to scratch but I believe the two rebounds that we scored should have stood,” Mpofu said.

“That is not an excuse for the defeat though as we should have defended our lead and we will have to go back to the drawing board and rectify were we went wrong.”

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