BOTH Bantu and LCS dropped valuable points last weekend to give Matlama the advantage in the race for the Econet Premier League title.
The defending champions were held to a one-all draw by Linare in an entertaining match at Setsoto Stadium on Sunday. Bantu had to come from behind as Linare had led earlier through Rethabile Selonyane.
A Matšo Matebele found their way back through their captain of the day Lindokuhle Phungulwa and missed several chances that would have earned them. Instead, they remained perched eight points behind leaders, Matlama.
Second placed LCS were also in action on Sunday and could only afford a point as they were held to a 1-1 draw by LDF at Ratjomose Barracks.
Masheshena have now dropped valuable points for the second match in row having been stunned by Sefotha-fotha in the midweek games.
The correctional service side now trails the leaders by three points despite having played a game more than Matlama.
Tse Putsoa on the other hand, clinched a comfortable win on Saturday beating Kick4Life 3-1 to return to winning ways having suffered their first defeat of the second round to Bantu last weekend.
The league leaders and their coach Thabile Secker deserve praise for how they showed character in bouncing back from a painful defeat at the hands of Bantu last weekend.
This for me, the fact that Tse Putsoa dusted themselves off after the loss to A Matšo Matebele is a sign often inherent in champions.
Matlama have not won the league title in almost a decade now and having been changing and chopping coaches with the hope of getting a man that can bring them the most sought-after trophy in domestic football in the country.
As things stand, Secker has a very good chance of doing what a lot of experienced coaches have failed to do in the last decade with Moses Maliehe being the last to come close three seasons ago when the club finished second.
Secker has at times faced a lot of criticism in the time that he has been in charge of the club but I feel that he has done well as we all know that coaching a team of Matlama stature comes with headaches, which include unruly supporters whenever results are not going their way.
Players such as Motebang Sera, who registered a brace in the win over Kick4Life last weekend, have also come to the party along with experienced players such as Bushy Moletsane and Mabuti Potloane.
Youngsters such as Monaheng Ramalefane and Rethabile Mokokoane have also been brilliant showing maturity with good performances week in and week out.
Though both Bantu and LCS dropped points, the race for the league title is not yet over as the four points’ advantage over LCS does not guarantee Matlama the trophy.
They must maintain their momentum to finish the job in their remaining matches to stand any chance of making it a historic 10th Premier League title.