- Cape Town Spurs suffered their sixth straight loss of the 2023/24 DStv Premiership season, equaling a record set by Umtata Bush Bucks in 1999/00.
- Their latest defeat was against Golden Arrows courtesy of a Lungelo Nguse brace, despite Spurs taking an early lead through Ashley Cupido.
- Moroka Swallows achieved a 2-0 win over Stellenbosch FC, and Chippa United beat Richards Bay 2-1 at King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban.
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Cape Town Spurs are now deep in crisis mode, having endured their sixth consecutive loss of the 2023/24 DStv Premiership season.
Their latest setback came in the form of a 2-1 loss to Golden Arrows at a rain-soaked and blustery Athlone Stadium on Tuesday, leaving them anchored to the bottom of the log.
Spurs find themselves now sharing an undesirable record as only once before in Premiership history has a team lost the opening six matches of a season. That unfortunate distinction belonged to Umtata Bush Bucks during the 1999/00 campaign.
The Urban Warriors, led by former Bafana Bafana striker Shaun Bartlett as their head coach, have faced a challenging start to the season. They were defeated by TS Galaxy (1-0), Sekhukhune United (2-0), Polokwane City (3-1), Chippa United (1-0), Swallows (3-1), and now by an Arrows side holding firmly onto second spot in the league with 14 points, comprising four wins, two draws, and one loss.
Although it seemed that Bartlett’s charges were on the path to recovery after Ashley Cupido’s 16th-minute opener, a second-half brace by substitute Lungelo Nguse propelled Arrows to their fourth victory in six league matches.
Meanwhile, in another part of the city, some 45 kilometres away amidst a rare Cape Spring storm, Steve Komphela’s Moroka Swallows, who had travelled from Gauteng, secured a 2-0 victory against Stellenbosch FC at the Danie Craven Stadium. The goals came courtesy of Ntsako Makhubela and Tshegofatso Mabasa.
Over at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban, Richards Bay faced a 2-1 defeat on their home turf against Chippa United, with Elmo Kambindu notching a brace to secure the three points.
Midweek DStv Premiership fixtures:
Tuesday, 19 September
Cape Town Spurs 1-2 Golden Arrows
Stellenbosch FC 0-2 Swallows
Richards Bay 1-2 Chippa United
Wednesday, 20 September
Orlando Pirates v Mamelodi Sundowns -19:30
SuperSport v Kaizer Chiefs – 19:30
TS Galaxy v Cape Town City – 19:30
Royal AM v Sekhukhune United – 19:30
Super substitution helps Arrows complete epic comeback
At Athlone, in under sixty seconds, Arrows demonstrated one of the numerous reasons why they currently occupy the second spot in the league standings.
A rapid counter-attacking manoeuvre allowed Angelo van Rooi to exploit space. Yet, with only Spurs’ goalkeeper, Sam Ramsbottom, to beat, the Arrows forward’s shot was expertly thwarted by the Scottish shot-stopper.
The 27-year-old goalkeeper was again the saviour for Spurs when Ryan Moon delivered a pinpoint cross from the right flank to Olwethu Ncube. Ramsbottom deftly parried Ncube’s shot to safety. Moments later, the former Alfreton Town netminder produced another crucial save, preventing a sure goal from Van Rooi as the ball was headed straight for the back of the net.
After holding off an onslaught from Arrows, the home side eventually found their rhythm with the ball at their feet and Spurs’ first threat at goal allowed for Shaun Bartlett’s charges to take the lead.
Chumani Butsaka delivered a precise curving cross from the left flank towards Ashley Cupido. The striker adeptly positioned his body, stooping low to connect with the ball using his head and guiding it past the goal line.
This feat sent the modest crowd in attendance into jubilant celebrations.
Cupido had a chance to secure his second goal just two minutes later, with Butsaka once again providing the setup.
However, Arrows’ goalkeeper, Isima Wantega, showcased his skill with an elegant save, swatting the ball away from the intended target.
As the second half began, Arrows coach Mabhuti Khenyeza made the tactical decision to introduce an additional forward in Nguse, hoping to find an equalising goal.
Spurs did manage to craft a few attacking chances, but Abafana Bes’Thende managed to equalise 10 minutes into the second half. After Spurs faltered in clearing the ball during a corner situation, Arrows seized the opportunity at the far end of the penalty box.
A precise cross into the danger zone allowed Nguse to score with a central header from close quarters.
Lungelo Nguse and Ryan Moon (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
Even as Spurs dominated ball possession past the hour mark, keeping the visiting Arrows mostly contained within their defensive half, the Urban Warriors aggressively sought another goal.
Reflecting a similar strategy to Arrows earlier, Spurs ramped up their offensive efforts, with Bartlett clearly signalling his desire to snatch the lead.
Yet, the momentum shifted when Arrows surged ahead against the run of play with just 10 minutes remaining. Nguse, the recurring nemesis for Spurs, found himself perfectly positioned to finish another cross from the left side.
Despite commanding the game in its dying moments and mounting continuous assaults on the Arrows’ defence, Spurs couldn’t find the elusive equaliser.