BULAWAYO – A solitary strike from veteran striker Sizalobuhle Dube earned hosts How Mine maximum points over visiting Hwange in a Castle Premiership encounter at Luveve Stadium on Saturday.
Dube headed home a long throw in by How Mine left wing back Khumbulani Banda on 18 minutes to propel the gold miners to seventh place on the log with 38 points to their credit.
CHARGING: How Mine winger Timothy January makes his way past a Hwange defender during Saturday's match at Luveve Stadium. Picture: Auntony Zinyange
How Mine assistant coach Simba Rusike said their victory was the result of a collective team effort.
“We actually played as a team and it was a good build up to our (Mbada Diamonds Cup) semi final match.
“It is good that we picked up points and we are still fighting on. We have moved to 38 points and we are back in the top half of the table,” Rusike said.
The coal miners, Hwange may have lost the match but they played the better football especially in the second half after the introduction of Tafara Chese for the off-form Farai Vimisai.
Chese took the game to the hosts upon his entry and Hwange became the dominant side but their dominance however, failed to yield any goals and the hosts held on for an important victory.
A poor run prior to yesterday’s game had thrown How Mine into the relegation equation but Rusike expressed confidence that his team will not face the axe at the end of the season.
Hwange coach Nation Dube also maintained his position that his team is not going to be relegated at the end of the season.
“They (How Mine) won because they scored but we were the better team especially in the second half when we said let us have a go at them because we have nothing to defend.
“This result is just a setback and we are not in the relegation battle. We just have to go back to the drawing board plot a win in our next game against Buffaloes at home,” Dube said.
The visitors gave the hosts a torrid time in the second half of the game and had a penalty call ignored by referee Nduna Nkosana and his first assistant referee Brilliant Sibanda on 68 minutes when veteran striker Gilbert Zulu tumbled down under the challenge of How Mine defender Herbert Dick.
And the hosts’ keeper Ephraim Mazarura had to summon his reflexes to punch away a header by Chipangano substitute Pritchard Mpelele with four minutes left on the clock as the visitors sought an equaliser.
How Mine: Ephraim Mazarura, Brighton Dube, Khumbulani Banda, Herbert Dick, Nyasha Mukumbi, Gilbert Banda, Menard Mupera, Warren Dube, Thembani Masuku, Siza Dube (Qinani Sibanda 79), Nqobile Mpala (Timothy January 54 min)
Hwange: Takabva Mawaya, Erick Chipeta, Munyaradzi Mungadze, Gerald Ndlovu, David Boriwondo, Andrew Chuma, Richard Jongwe (Evans Rusike 56 min), Oscar Lungu, Gilbert Zulu (Pritchard Mpelele 81 min), Isaac Masame, Farai Vimisai (Tafara Chese 56 min)