Johannesburg - Moroka Swallows recorded their second win of the season with a hard fought 2-1 victory over Free State Stars in an Absa Premiership encounter at Dobsonville Stadium on Wednesday night.
Swallows got their goals from the boots of David Mathebula and Lefa Tsutsulupa in the first half, while Stars' consolation goal came in the shape of Boitumelo Sekgobela's late strike in the second half.
Coming into the game, Swallows had collected only three points out of the possible nine, while Free State Stars got their league campaign off to a solid start, collecting seven points from their first three matches.
The game started at snail's pace, and the first real chance fell in the path of Swallows' Giorgi Nergadze in the seventh minute, but the towering defender headed straight into the hands of Kennedy Mweene in Free State Stars' goal.
Mesmeric runs by the nifty Joseph Makhanya on the right flank caused the Stars defence considerable concern, and in the 10th minute he zoomed past and delivered a vicious drive that Kennedy Mweene could only parry back into play.
The Birds could have opened the scoring in the 26th minute but Mweene did well to save a shot from Rudi Isaacs, fisting the ball away for a corner.
Swallows' efforts were eventually rewarded when David Mathebula beat Mweene with a well taken free kick in 32nd minute to put his side in the driving seat.
Free State Stars could have levelled matters six minutes later, but Edward Manqele directed his shot straight into the hands of the diving Greg Etafia.
Instead, it was Swallows who increased their tally to two after Lefa Tsutsulupa latched on to an inviting cross from Siyabonga Nomvethe before beating Mweene with an easy tap in shortly before the break.
The hosts were impressive in their forward forays in the second stanza, with Lefa Tsutsulupa orchestrating the operations as they swamped their opponents' territory in search of a third goal.
Bennett Chenene could only watch in disbelief after his shot went inches wide with Mweene at his mercy in the 53rd minute.
In an attempt to come back into the game, Stars introduced Boitumelo Sekgobela and Mzikayise Mashaba in place of Zakari Morou and Wome Dove in the late stages of the match.
Sekgobela pulled one back for the visitors in the 79th minute but it was too little too late as Stars stumbled after a dream start to the season.