NAIROBI, Kenya, May 5 – Bandari FC moved to fourth on the Kenyan Premier League table after beating hosts Mathare United 1-0 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Friday.
In the other fixture of the day, Kariobangi Sharks moved into the top eight with a well mastered 2-0 win over Sony Sugar while Nzoia Sugar and Nakumatt FC played to a 1-1 draw at the Sudi Stadium in Bungoma.
Pascal Ogweno and Ovellah Ochieng scored in either half as the Premier League newboys continued with their new found tempo, picking their fourth win of the season after nine matches.
In the early kick off, Anthony Wambani scored the vital goal in the first half as the dockers ensured they go back to Mombasa with a healthy pick, the 1-0 win at Mathare topping up with the point gained in midweek in their 1-1 draw with Sofapaka.
“It was a very tough match because Mathare is not an easy opponent. We fought hard and I am very pleased because we have picked four points away from home and heading into the next match, we will have our confidence renewed,” Paul Nkata, the Bandari FC tactician said after the match.
Mathare who were off a huge 1-0 win over former champions Gor Mahia last weekend were up to make the confidence count with another win, but the young guns came short of expectation with assistant coach Salim Ali blaming it on poor finishing.
“These are young boys and they are still learning. We wanted to go for the three points today but it was unfortunate because they wanted to do things in a hurry and we conceded because of a small concentration lapse. We created chances, but we could not finish,” a disappointed Ali said.
The side will however have their head coach Francis Kimanzi back on the touchline on Tuesday when they face Sharks after the Appeals Committee reduced his six-match ban to four.
Mathare had made some changes to the team that won at Gor with youngster Moses Mburu starting at left back in place of the rested David Mwangi while Andrew Juma and Lennox Ogutu partnered at the heart of defense.
It was the hosts who started brightly and had the first chance in the 27th minute when a defensive clearance from felly Mulumba fell kindly on Derrick Onyango’s feet, but the striker’s effort could not hit the target, flying wide.
On the half hour mark, debutant Mburu swung back a cross into the box after a half hearted clearance by Bandari from a long-throw with Lennox Ogutu setting up Daniel Mwaura but the latter’s effort went wide.
They were made to pay for the missed chances two minutes later when Wambani tapped into an empty net after miscommunication between keeper Levis Opiyo and his defender Juma gave Jacob keli a chance to win the ball, putting Wambani through for the easy goal.
Mathare came close to conceding in similar fashion three minutes later, but this time Ogutu raced back to make a timely block to deny Wilberforce Lugogo who was preparing to pull the trigger after being set up by Keli.
In the second half, Mathare came back determined to get themselves back on track and Mwaura once again had a chance 10 minutes in from a free-kick but he blasted wide.
Mathare literally camped in Bandari’s half in search for the elusive goal with youngsters Chris Ochieng and David ‘Messi’ Owino being thrown in to attack but nothing would be enough to get them back into the game.