Middendorp pleased to get a point

2013-09-23 00:00

MARITZBURG United left the Dobsonville Stadium with a point on Saturday despite two of their attacking players being forced off the park with injuries.

It was a game that saw Thokozani Sekotlong score his first goal for the club in the 69th minute, having come on as a 48th minute substitute for the injured Mohammed Yakubu.

United’s lead against Moroka Swallows lasted just seven minutes as Luvhengo Mungomeni equalised for the home side. This led to a nervy finish with both sides looking to bag a winner.

The result sees United in ninth place on eight points and a win would have put them in the top six and just one point behind leaders SuperSport United.

Team of Choice coach Ernst Middendorp, who celebrated Sekotlong’s opener with a run and dance down the touchline, was pleased to walk away from the game with a point.

“In the end, I’m pleased with the point,” Middendorp told The Witness. He said that after the Dube Birds had dominated the early stages of the match, they came out stronger after the break and looked to take charge of the midfield. Middendorp felt that after they had taken the lead, they allowed Swallows to come back with a soft goal.

“We shouldn’t have given them that opportunity to equalise. But over the 90 minutes, with the circumstances within our squad with injuries, it was good [to get a point],” he said.

Once again, United were helped by the goalkeeping of Shu-Aib Walters whose recent performances may have made Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund take note.

“He made some good saves and is one of the best in the league,” said Middendorp. “We spoke this morning and he was disappointed in himself for conceding the goal.”

Saturday’s game against Swallows was United’s last league game for a month and their focus will now shift to the Telkom Knock-out where they travel to the Moruleng Stadium in the North West to take on Platinum Stars.

Middendorp said Ashley Hartog was being targeted for a return in their next league game — SuperSport United at Harry Gwala — a month away. He was forced to come off in the 22nd minute and had just come back from injury.

“With Yakubu, the target is to have him back in the Telkom Knock-out,” said United’s mentor. He added that Delron Buckley and Peter Peterson were also expected to be back for the next game, while David Booysen was only pencilled in for the end of October.

• lunga.biyela@witness.co.za

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