Palmer not impressed with draw in Bloem

2011-09-16 00:00

WHILE Maritzburg United’s 1-1 away draw against Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday night will be seen by many as a positive result, coach Ian Palmer is not as impressed.

United took the lead in the 37th minute through a Diyo Sibisi header, but failed to take any of numerous opportunities to score the second goal that would have secured a second victory for the club this PSL season.

“If there is one game that we look back on and regret not winning, this is it,” Palmer told The Witness yesterday.

“We had so many chances to score another goal — Diyo [Sibisi] had two, Prince [Olomu] missed a tap in and Calvin [Sosibo] had a great chance.”

Palmer added that the United squad had left Bloemfontein feeling despondent after conceding the equaliser early in the second half.

“The fact that this young group of players are not satisfied with an away point is a very encouraging sign for Maritzburg United,” he said.

“They have the belief that they can beat anybody and they expect to pick up three points on their travels.”

Wednesday night provided dangerous attacking midfielder Kurt Lentjies with his first taste of PSL action this season, after he sat out the start of the season with a toe injury.

“Kurt was absolutely fantastic. I think he was my man of the match,” said Palmer, who also heaped praise on his left back Rheece Evans.

The draw means United remain in eighth place on the log after four rounds of fixtures and are one of only three sides, Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United are the other two,l who have not been beaten in the league this season.

United’s went down 4-1 to Free State Stars on April 6, but have not lost in eight league matches since.

Palmer must now turn his attention to Sunday, when he will face up to former Maritzburg United coach Ernst Middendorp and his Golden Arrows team.

The match at Harry Gwala Stadium is the first KZN derby of the season for Palmer’s side.

Arrows chalked up their first win of the season on Wednesday night with a 3-1 defeat of Platinum Stars in Durban and will be buoyed by the fact that they hammered United 3-0 in both league fixtures last season.

While United are happy to have the illusive Lentjies back in the side, they will more than likely be without midfielder Sheldon Lawrence, who is thought to be concussed after taking a knock against Celtic on Wednesday.

“He is in a neck brace now and we will be taking him to see the doctor tonight [last night],” confirmed Palmer. “We don’t know what the extent of the injury is yet.”

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