A SPIRITED PERFORMANCE AGAINST ARROWS
21 April 2016
The derby between Maritzburg United and Lamontville Golden Arrows was expected to produce fireworks as both teams were desperate for points, with United fighting relegation, and Arrows having not won in several matches.
The first round encounter between the only clubs from KZN in the PSL, saw the Team Of Choice get the better of Abafana Bes’thende beating them 2-0 at Harry Gwala Stadium. Revenge must have been at the back of Arrows’ coaching staff’s minds ahead of the game, so the game had all the ingredients to be strongly contested.
We came to this game at the back of two poor performances against Tuks and Aces, and the boys were determined to turn all that around and secure the important three points so as to close the gap between ourselves and the two teams above us, in Cosmos and Tuks.
The bravery of keeper Tawfweeq Salie trying to save a ball from the feet of an Arrows Player, was deemed to be a foul and resulted in a penalty which was converted as early as the 18th minute.
However, we felt hard done by the match officials for denying us what seemed to be a clear penalty, which was one of many questionable decisions the match officials made or did not make on a day marred by poor officiating. Worse still for MUFC, Deolin Mekoa was given marching orders in the 46th minute which many thought was going to lead to another loss for the team from the Capital City.
The boys came back for the second half and showed even more hunger, not to be deterred by being a man down. As a collective, we kept stringing passes and knocking at Arrows’ door. Captain fantastic, Kurt Lentjies led from the front despite being kicked time and again by the Arrows players, and ultimately scored his fifth league goal of the season to level the score, and deservedly became man of the match, again.
The ten men Team of Choice were unlucky not to score the winner after a barrage of shots taken at goal until the match ended in a stalemate. Credit to the Arrows keeper who really kept them in the game even for them to secure a point.
We are very confident that with such a display and momentum carried forward, we will survive relegation as we are prepared to fight to the wire, though unfortunately sometimes we have to fight against adversity. We are once again making a call for fair and professional officiating, especially at this time of the season when emotions are very high be it at the top or the bottom of the log.
Finally, a statement was quoted in the media to the effect that Arrows Assistant Coach Mandla Ncikazi who said as quoted from Kick Off “ …Farouk is the one who was swearing at our Chairlady ( Madlala) and all the comments will tell you what he said about the Chairlady”.
The Chairman of Maritzburg United condemns in the strongest terms the misrepresentation of facts by Ncikazi: “Firstly the Chairlady was not there at that time as she left even before the match started. Secondly his confrontation and assault on my coach was the reason why I advanced towards them to try and calm the situation but was met with abuse from him.
At no point did I mention the Chairlady in one sentence there. The issues I raised about her presence were with the media, and were recorded and captured by the media,” said Kadodia.
“What Ncikazi is saying is malicious and has bad intentions to get back at me for firing him at the beginning of the season,” he concluded.
We look forward to our next game against Free State Stars in Bethlehem on Tuesday. It’s going to be another very important game for us, as all games we play now are like cup finals.