Defending champions Nyasa Big Bullets have collected single point from possible six in their first two ThumbsUp Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) League Premier Division fixtures following one-all draw against Steffords on Saturday.
However, the prospect of returning to the TNM Super League looks promising for Red Lions, who have maintained a stranglehold at the summit of the second-tier league with two straight-wins after a 5-2 triumph over hosts Mangochi United.
At the BAT ground in Blantyre, Reserve were seeking to recover from their shock 2-3 defeat by Fomo FC in their opener two weeks ago, but they failed to earn the morale-boosting victory as Steffords came from behind through Brian Phiri’s strike that cancelled out Reserve’s early goal by Lanjesi Nkhoma.
Reserve’s coach Enos Chatama attributed their failure to earn maximum points to their team rebuilding exercise after losing four key players, namely, goalkeeper Elias Missi, golden-boot winner Hassan Kajoke, midfielder Chimwemwe Idana and defender Charles Petro, who were promoted to Bullets’ main team after winning the SRFA league last season.
“We are experiencing the aftershocks of the key players’ recent departure. However, I am happy that we are slowly but surely recovering and we will get on the right track soon enough,” he said.
Before yesterday’s games, Reserve were on uninspiring 11th position on the 20-team log-table.
Nevertheless, Lions have intensified their campaign for a quick return to the top-flight league after thrashing Mangochi at their own backyard to earn a successive win by a three-goal margin as they also triumphed 3-0 over Nsanama in their opener.
On Saturday, Frank Mussa’s brace and strikes by Willard John, Philip Kishombe and Kumbukani Mwambeni helped Lions to keep their hopes alive. Mangochi’s consolation goals came through Adam Makalanje and Welingtone Bizare.
Lions are tied on six points with MDF Marine but they lead the pack due to a better goal difference of six against Marine’s two.