Gamecocks bounce back

BULAWAYO - Chicken Inn head coach Joey Antipas was clearly a relieved man after his charges survived a second half onslaught by Chapungu to collect maximum points with a 2-1 win in a Castle Premiership encounter at Luveve Stadium on Saturday.

The Gamecocks had raced into a two goal lead in the first half through goals by Bhekimpilo Ncube and Thabani Goredema but had to endure a nervy finish after the airmen came back strongly in the second half and pulled one back through Callisto Maheya on the hour mark.

Antipas aptly summed up the hotly contested encounter as a game of two halves in his post match interview.

"It was a game of two halves as we were better in the first half and Chapungu were stronger in the second.

"We once again conceded a soft goal but we take heart from the win as we are coming from a poor run of results," Antipas said.

Chicken Inn got off to a brilliant start when Ncube thrust them into the lead with a header off a John Passmore Bernard free kick on four minutes.

The set piece was awarded after Chapungu captain Collen Kwaramba had brought down veteran Chicken Inn striker Mkhokheli Dube.

Maxwell Mavuto and Blessed Mbavarira had attempts that narrowly missed the target before Goredema grabbed a second for the Gamecocks three minutes before the break.

This goal came about following a quick attacking move by the hosts who caught the visitors on the break and the combative Goredema placed the ball beyond the reach of outdrawn Chapungu keeper Stephen Roy Mazingi.

Chapungu made a raft of changes in the early stages of the second half with Tinashe Gonyora replacing Ngonidzashe Murisa while Charles Murisa came in for Maxwell Mavuto.

Those changes completely changed the complexion of the game and resulted in Maheya pulling one back following a concerted spell of pressure.

Gamecocks keeper Elvis Chipezeze gifted the airmen with this goal after failing to hold on to a weak attempt at goal and spilling the ball onto Maheya's path and the gangly striker struck from close range.

Chapungu thought they had found the equaliser on 81 minutes when Murisa's effort from the left flank sailed over the bar and bounced on the metal that supports the nets before cascading downs the nets albeit behind the goal mouth.

The visiting team's technical bench and the travelling fans got up to celebrate but their joy was shortlived as the first assistant referee Tione Kacheche signaled for a goal kick.

Chapungu coach John Nyikadzino however, felt the ball had gone in and singled out this incident as an example of how the match officials had contributed to his team's defeat.

"I usually don't comment about the referees but you all saw how the match officials denied us a genuine goal.

"This is now water under the bridge and we now looking forward to our next encounter," Nyikadzino said.

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