Oh so close as NRB draw 0-0

Missed opportunity Tireless Richards Bay FC workhorse Thabiso Nkoana fires a shot at goal, but there were no goals to be had in Saturday's NFD clash against Mthatha Bucks in the uMhlathuze Stadium. See full match report on page 23 Photo: Dave Savides

HITTING the goal posts twice and the side netting once in a feverish final 20-minute attacking onslaught, Richards Bay FC had to settle for a 0-0 draw against Mthatha Bucks at the uMhlathuze Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

However, in all fairness, the visitors had always done enough to deserve a share of the spoils.

A game without goals can often be a boring one for spectators and there certainly was little to enthuse over during the first 45 minutes.

NRB captain Xolani Ngcobo leads the team on the pre-match warm-up drill
Photos: Dave Savides

Sphelele Mkhulise saw his superb curling strike fail to beat the fingertips of diving visitors’ keeper Siya Mngoma as it headed for the far corner in the 10th minute.

But the NRB fans breathed a sigh of relief soon after when skipper Xolani Ngcobo pulled off a brilliant double save at point blank range.

For the most part, though, the action seldom left midfield as the two excellent defences cancelled out each other.

Sonke Ntule (10) evades the attention of Mthatha Bucks’ defenders Shane Thompson (13) and Shane April (8)

ALSO READ: Time for NRB to collect full points

The second stanza saw both sides raise their intensity, and some astute substitutions saw the Bay lads turn on the attacking pressure.

Thabiso Nkoana, who as a strong, hardworking and agile striker is without equal in the NFD, was given more support up front and the siege began.

Almost every assault on the Bucks’ goalmouth was the result of defence-splitting passes and creating openings through sheer perseverance in fighting for possession.

A corner cross whistles over the heads of the Richards Bay FC attackers

It was a case of ‘Boyz to men’ as they refused to give an inch.

Khayelihle Shozi twice was put free behind the back four, but one shot went wide and the other high, but the best of the lot was the effort of Stanley Muishond.

His fast feet trickery took him past a bunch of defenders and he watched in dismay as his delicate finishing touch bounced off the post without crossing the line.

Man of the match Paseka Sekese (8) was the NRB general who took command of the battlefield – a huge talent surely destined to become a big name in SA football

With two draws and one loss so far, there is absolutely no need for heads to hang in the Bay camp.

All their opponents thus far find themselves in the top four on the log – and none of them have outclassed the NRB team.

The results will come, no doubt of that.

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  AUTHOR
Dave Savides
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