Barker earns first Wits win
Clive Barker (Gallo Images)
Polokwane - A goal each from Erwin Isaacs and Ryan Chapman in the second half handed Clive Barker his first win as Wits coach in his first game in charge as the Clever Boys beat Black Leopards 2-0 in an Absa Premiership match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday night.
The first half saw the visiting side in firm control of the match, but for all their pressing a stubborn Leopards’ defence managed to keep them at bay, but only barely.
Wits set out their stall in attack from the first whistle, but some miss-placed passing in the final third saw them really unable to create any clear-cut chances on goal.
Nonetheless, the Clever Boys continued to remain threatening and had their first shot on goal in the ninth minute.
Erwin Isaacs let rip with a 25-yard free-kick, but he saw his thunderbolt skim the wrong side of the left-hand post.
Seven minutes later and Wits were threatening again, this time from a corner kick that resulted in Mzikayise Mashaba letting fly from just outside the box, but his effort sailed inches wide of the right-hand post.
In the 22nd minute Leopards suffered a set-back as Rodney Ramagalela had to leave the field injured and was replaced by David Zulu.
The change did not disrupt the Wits pressure as they continued to press forward, but were unable to find the opening goal.
For Leopards, they were hardly in the game in the first 45, but that was largely due to a solid defensive performance from the visiting side.
The second 45 saw Leopards seeing a bit more of the ball and they had a couple of long range shots early in the half that really failed to trouble the Wits goal.
The momentum of the game, however, soon took the same pattern of the first as the Clever Boys began to control matters and confirmed their dominance with the opening goal in the 56th minute.
Some swift passing in and around the Leopards box resulted in Isaacs finding space inside the 18-yard box and he produced a well-placed finish into the bottom corner of the goal to give Wits the lead, 1-0.
The result was then put beyond doubt four minutes from time when Ryan Chapman latched onto the ball and scored from close range, 2-0, to hand Barker his first win as Wits coach in his first game in charge.
Black Leopards (0) 0
Bidvest Wits (1) 2 (Isaacs 56’, Chapman 86’)
Leopards: Maphaha; Nkambule, Xakane, Nyirenda, Khoza, Gumede (Amidu 57’), Mabunda, Bobe, Madimba (Maake 77’), Ramagalela (Zulu 22’), Dzaga
Wits: Harrison; Pule, Gumede, Moon (Chapman 70’), Nengomasha, Vilakazi, Isaacs, Seedat, Mashaba (Pattison 79’), Sibande, Kadi (Faty 86’)