Rustenburg - Platinum Stars have leapfrogged Moroka Swallows on the Absa Premiership log thanks to a 1-0 win over the Soweto side in Rustenburg on Sunday.
An own goal from Rudi Isaacs decided the match at Royal Bafokeng Stadium, with Dikwena ending a winless streak in the league that stretched back to December 6 last year, while the Birds suffered a fourth successive loss in 2015.
The result sees Stars move to 14th place on the log with 21 points, while Swallows drop to 15th on 18 points.
Stars very nearly opened the scoring in the 16th minute.
Swallows goalkeeper Obren Cuckovic came flying off his line to try and claim a cross, but Eleazar Rodgers got to the ball first and sent a header toward goal, only to watch it skip agonisingly wide of the unguarded target.
The hosts came close again in the 33rd minute when a quick passing move put Vuyo Mere in space down the right of the penalty area, but his shot/cross flashed just wide of the far post, with Cuckovic well beaten.
Swallows’ attack generally had to feed off scraps throughout the first half, though a good movement in the 38th minute involving Dikganga Mabalane, Siyabonga Nomvethe and Lerato Chabangu ended with the latter firing a half-volley over the target.
Dikwena deservedly claimed the lead a couple of minutes before the end of regulation time in the first half. Tintswalo Tshabalala got free down the left flank and was able to play a dangerous ball into the goal-mouth which forced a back-tracking Rudi Isaacs to score an own goal.
Swallows were much improved after the break and a slick move gave Nomvethe a sight of goal in the 52nd minute, only for the veteran striker to send a left-footed shot wide of the mark.
The Birds introduced attack-minded players such as Felix Obada, Lefa Tsutsulupa and Vuyisile Wana as the second half wore on, but Stars’ defence remained vigilant and they were able to protect their lead up to the full time whistle.
Platinum Stars (1) 1 (Isaacs 43’ og)
Moroka Swallows 0
Platinum Stars: Dambe, Mere, Tshikovi, Sithole, Masenamela, Nyanda (Makudubela 76’), Madubanya, Mathe, Tshabalala (Nhlapo 87’), Mabena (Moon 85’), Rodgers
Moroka Swallows: Cuckovic, Mungomeni, Isaacs, Cohen, Lekgothoane, Mabalane, Baloyi, Yende (Tsutsulupa 77’), Cele, Chabangu (Wana 77’), Nomvethe (Obada 66’)