Day to forget for KZN sides after Usuthu, Arrows lose

2013-12-02 00:00

GOLDEN Arrows have not kept a clean sheet all season long, and it is starting to frustrate coach Mark Harrison, who saw his side go down 2-1 at home to Platinum Stars on Saturday evening.

A first-half goal from Jabulani Nene gave Arrows the lead somewhat against the run of play, but Stars scored two goals within 10 minutes after the restart and Robert Ngambi’s winner ensured that Arrows slip back down to 15th position on the table.

“I don’t think we turned up, to be honest,” Harrison told The Witness yesterday of his side’s seventh loss of the season. “We were off the pace, which is disappointing because the three points were there for the taking.”

Arrows have conceded 15 times in the league this season, with only AmaZulu [19] and Bloemfontein Celtic [16] conceding more.

“If we can correct what is happening at the back then we will climb the table rapidly, because we are creating and scoring goals,” said Harrison, who took over as coach at the beginning of October after Manqoba Mngqithi’s poor start to the campaign.

“Not doing the basics right is what is costing us.”

With fixtures coming thick and fast over the festive season, Arrows now turn their attention to Wednesday night when they make the trip to Bloemfontein for a date with Ernst Middendorp’s Celtic.

Middendorp orchestrated a shock 3-2 win over Orlando Pirates on Saturday, and his team will no doubt have their tails up come Wednesday.

“Ernst’s teams are always difficult to beat. He is technically very good and they will be full of confidence,” said Harrison.

Despite Arrows’ log position, Harrison remains adamant that his side are not in a relegation scrap with over a third of the season’s fixtures completed.

“If we are in this position with three or four matches to play, then I will be concerned,” he said. “We are three points off eighth place. It is still very tight.”

AmaZulu’s defeat at the University of Pretoria in Saturday’s earlier kick-off meant that it was a day to forget for KZN’s PSL representatives.

Usuthu went down 2-0 thanks to goals from Khethukuthula Zwane and Grant Kekana, and are still placed in mid-table, though they have played at least a game more than every other side in the league.

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