Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
2 minute read
23 Apr 2018
1:19 pm

Mthatha Bucks back in the ‘bush’ after miserable season in NFD

Sibongiseni Gumbi

Mthatha Bucks will be campaigning in the ABC Motsepe League next season after the Eastern Cape based side were relegated from the National First Division (NFD) with two games remaining following a 3-0 defeat to Jomo Cosmos on Saturday afternoon.

Mthatha Bucks (Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix)

Amathol’amnyama had to win all three of their remaining matches to have any chance of survival but an unforgiving Ezenkosi hell bent on making the play offs came down on them like a ton of bricks and sent them on their way to the amateur ranks popularly known as “ihlathi” (bush) in football circles.

Stellenbosch FC 3 (A Nkili; IRayners x 2) Witbank Spurs 2 (P Mubayiwa; B Shabalala)
Funnily enough Stellenbosch had to make sure they win this one to avoid any chance of being dragged into the relegation battle. Although the Cape side were high up in the standings, there was still a possibility of them falling down. Ayanda Nkili opened the scoring while Iqraam Rayners scored twice. Patrick Mubayiwa and Bongani Shabalala’s goals were not enough as Siyavutha fell behind in the race for a play offs position finish.

Mthatha Bucks 0 Jomo Cosmos 3 (Aanias Gebhardt, Nkanyiso Zungu, Mmiseni Ndlovu)
Ezenkosi showed no mercy as they had to win by all means to keep their play offs dreams alive. Ananias Gebhart, Nkanyiso Zungu and Mmiseni Ndlovu scored the goals that paved Bucks’ way out of the professional ranks.

Black Leopards 4 (Joseph Mhlongo x 2; Meshack Maphanngule; Ivan Mahangwahaya) Richards Bay 0
Lidoda Duvha continued to fight for their day in the play offs, easily beating embattled Richards Bay 4-0 to keep their second spot on the log. The defeat deepened the Rich Boys’ trouble.

Ubuntu CT 0 Royal Eagles 1 (M Niang)
Mame Niang proved to be the hero that the team needed when he netted the winner against Ubuntu Cape Town to ease relegation pressure on Royal Eagles. Eagles now need just two points from their last two matches to be safe.

Real Kings 1 (L. Mtshali) University of Pretoria 1 (C Petersen)
Scoring right at the end of the match, Lindokuhle Mtshali might have thought he had helped his side to be in a better position to finish in play offs position but Chemon Petersen killed that off when he equalised a few minutes later.

Super Eagles 0 Tshakhuma 0
A result that neither will be happy with. But Super Eagles should be a little more accepting of a point which keeps them alive for at least another week as the relegation battle heats up.

Uthongathi 1 (X Silawuli) Mbombela United 0
Xolani Silawuli became a hero for the Cane Cutters as his goal proved enough to seal an important win which eased some pressure on the division’s new boys. Uthongathi also live to fight another day in the NFD.

CT All Stars 1 (T Mashigo) Highlands Park 1 (M. Mvala)
Tshepo Mashigo continued his scoring run at his new team as he helped Igugu leKapa to retain some dignity with a draw against NFD champions elect Highlands Park. Getting a draw from the Lions of the North who have been free scoring in their last few games is a good result for All Stars.