Stel­len­bosch’s ti­tle chase off to a good start

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - SPORT - MIKE DE BRUYN

STEL­LEN­BOSCH FC re­main at the sum­mit of the Na­tional First Di­vi­sion af­ter beat­ing Cape Town All Stars 1-0 at Athlone Sta­dium on Fri­day.

For­mer San­tos rightwinger Tshepo Mabua broke the dead­lock in the 80th minute for his sec­ond goal of the cam­paign.

Stel­len­bosch, who con­tested last sea­son’s pro­mo­tion play­offs, re­main un­beaten with a record of three wins and two draws for a to­tal of 11 points.

They have a healthy four­point cush­ion over All Stars, who have now lost two on the bounce, their un­beaten three­game run ended at home when beaten 3-1 by Mpumalangabased Mbombela United in the pre­vi­ous round, this af­ter Igugu Lekapa went into the break lead­ing 1-0.

Cape Town-based All Stars could well find them­selves drop­ping many places down the 15-team log at the com­ple­tion of yes­ter­day’s fifth round.

It was Stel­len­bosch’s first tri­umph over All Stars at the sev­enth at­tempt; they’ve lost two of six pre­vi­ous meet­ings to go with four stale­mates.

For­merly known as Vasco da Gama, Stel­len­bosch be­gan their cur­rent cam­paign with a 2-1 derby vic­tory over win­less Ubuntu Cape Town (for­merly known as FC Cape Town), then played out two 1-1 draws with KwaZulu-Natal ri­vals Uthon­gathi FC and Royal Ea­gles, be­fore down­ing Black Leop­ards of Lim­popo 2-1.

For Stel­len­bosch’s Le­sotho-born coach Steve Barker, it has been a promis­ing start to his ten­ure but he will know that noth­ing less than win­ning pro­mo­tion to the Pre­mier Soc­cer League will do; last sea­son he was as­sis­tant coach to Sammy Troughton, and it was a fail­ure to gain pro­mo­tion to the PSL that led to Troughton and the club part­ing ways.

Ubuntu Cape Town take on for­mer PSL side Jomo Cos­mos to­day search­ing for a first win af­ter play­ing out three draws and a loss, leav­ing coach Roger Links and his charges third-bot­tom on the stand­ings, above Ea­gles and base­ment dwellers Richards Bay FC.

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