Highlands Park 0-2 Bidvest Wits: Students returns to winning ways in Tembisa

Bidvest Wits returned to winning ways with a comfortable 2-0 win over Highlands Park at the Makhulong Stadium on Friday

Bidvest Wits were looking to get back into the title hunt following their midweek setback against SuperSport United at home.

Standing in their way to maximum points was a Highlands Park side, who earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw away to Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday.

They are fighting objectives of their own this season as they try to escape the relegation quagmire they are currently embroiled in.

Both sides came into the game with changes aplenty, none more so than the visitors who made no less than five changes to the side that featured on Wednesday.

Experienced campaigners Daine Klate, Elias Pelembe and Gabadinho Mhango were relegated to the bench, while hard-tackling midfielder Thabang Monare was out suspended.

There was also a first Premiership appearance for Vincent Pule on the left, who had been out in the cold for the duration of the last two campaigns partly due to the presence of Klate in his position.

The Lions of North made only two alterations in defence, with Kgomotso Koena and Christopher Komane coming in for Siyabonga Nhlapho and Ronald Katjiukua respectively.

It was a very tentative start to the game, with both sides feeling each other out before launching into attack.

The visitors looked more comfortable and threatening every time they were in possession of the ball and their wing play forced the hosts on the back foot every single time in the opening ten minutes.

Although the Lions of the North got the game’s first opportunity on goal when Mothobi Mvala’s shot forced Moeneeb Josephs into action by parrying it into touch.

The Students though, didn’t wait long to make their early dominance count when Granwald Scott fired home from the edge of the box into the top bottom corner after 20 minutes.

They nearly doubled their lead minutes later, but Mogakolodi Ngele’s header failed to get the better of Tapuwa Kapini as it went straight to the Zimbabwean’s clutches.

Pule was causing havoc down the wings with his skill and pace causing the Highlands defence to commit numerous fouls.

The Students duly scored the second following great interplay involving Eleazar Rodgers, Scott and Pule who calmly slotted the ball into an empty net after 39 minutes.

Gordon Igesund’s charges tried to pull one back heading into the break, but Josephs was on hand to keep the score unchanged as he denied Peter Shalulile in on goal.

In the second half, Highlands went for broke with the introduction of striker Fikru Lemasse against his former charges for midfielder Thanduyise Khuboni.

In hindsight, the change did little to rattle the Students backline and the overall attacking compartment of the Lions.

Wits too made a change, bringing on Klate for Ngele as Gavin Hunt looked for another attacking dimension upfront.

With the score-line firmly in their favour, Wits were content to just keep it tight and consolidate.

As the game drew to a close, goalmouth chances at either end faded away as both were merely reduced to shots from range that did little to trouble either Kapini or Josephs.

That said, the Students secured a comfortable win that keeps them in touching distance with the pace-setters ahead of their mouthwatering top-of-the-table clash with Mamelodi Sundowns on Monday who eased past Golden Arrows to earn top spot.

As for Igesund and company, they remain tied on 22 points with bottom-placed Baroka FC.

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