BULAWAYO – Warriors defender Eric Chipeta was a villain turned hero for visiting Hwange after recovering from a first half penalty miss to lead the coal miners to a much needed 2-1 victory over hosts Chicken Inn in a
Castle Premiership encounter at Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday.
The versatile defender sent his spot kick narrowly wide on 21 minutes after referee Philani Ncube had ruled that Chicken Inn defender Moses Jackson had brought down Hwange striker Oscar Lungu inside the penalty box.
This miss did not negatively affect Chipeta as he went on to provide the assist for Hwange's equaliser less than a minute into the second half when his free kick was headed home by his fellow defender David Boriwondo.
This goal cancelled out Tendai Ndoro's first half opener from the penalty spot.
The penalty was given after referee Ncube ruled that Ndoro had been fouled by Hwange skipper Gerald Ndlovu.
Ndoro took up the responsibility and netted his 14th goal of the league campaign.
Chipeta then went on to grab the winner for Chipangano 10 minutes into the second half when his speculative effort from the left flank sailed past a badly positioned Njabulo Nyoni.
The result took Hwange's points tally to 32 points and after the match their head coach Nation Dube vowed that the coal miners will not be a factor in this year's relegation dogfight.
"People have been going on and on about Hwange facing relegation but I have always maintained that we were just in a lowly position and are nowhere near being relegation candidates.
"I must commend the boys for not giving up when the chips were down and our target is to keep on getting the results as we wind down the season," Dube said.
The hosts set up camp in the visitors half after going behind and created numerous opportunities to level matters in the last quarter of the match but were let down by poor finishing.
Chicken Inn head coach Mandla Mpofu blamed poor defending for his side's defeat.
"I will not single out anyone but the problem that we are facing is that as a team we are not getting back into defensive positions quickly enough after losing possession.
"At the rate that we are losing it will now be difficult to realise our target of a top four finish but we just have to improve our tactical and positional discipline," Mpofu said.