Mmegi Online :: Rollers’ January disease returns in brutal fashion
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Rollers’ January disease returns in brutal fashion

Township Rollers descended into familiar territory after they recorded their first ever loss of the season, sending a sense of de ja ‘blues’ blasting through Mma Masire as memories of last January came flooding, observes Staff Writer, MQONDISI DUBE
By Mqondisi Dube Tue 26 Jan 2016, 14:35 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Rollers’ January disease returns in brutal fashion








The bad old days returned to Rollers over the weekend. At the same time last season, Rollers had activated cruise control, but a crushing 2-1 defeat inspired by Police XI’s Ghanaian import, Ishmael Amponsah meant a first loss in 16 matches.

Before the Police XI reversal, Rollers held a healthy and seemingly insurmountable six-point lead as the title race faced the home stretch.

The Police XI defeat sparked a monstrous collapse, which saw Rollers meekly surrender their lead to perennial rivals, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and even then rookies, Orapa United zoomed past.

But last season, their reign at the top lasted a few days longer as Rollers were still three points clear of Chiefs on January 27, 2015.

 This time around, their run ended after 19 matches, but came four days earlier than in the last campaign. Last season, Chiefs caught up with Rollers on February 1, 2015 after they won 1-0 through a race-changing Lemponye Tshireletso strike.

On February 8, Chiefs began pulling away as they held a one-point advantage as Rollers began with a slump that eventually shoved them down to third by March.

Rollers completed January 2015 without a win. While the Rollers faithful thought it was just a once in a blue moon anguish, the unforgiving grim ripper returned carrying a familiar script at the Molepolole Sports Complex on Saturday. Against relative lightweights but bogey team, BR Highlanders, Rollers found themselves in unfamiliar territory, trailing to a 26th minute Tilly Sefhako header.

Joel Mogorosi restored parity in the 38th minute, but the familiar 2-1 bells rang as Moamedi Thatego plundered the winner in the 79th minute.

While it was the unusual business on the pitch, tempers were building up on the terraces where fans bayed for interim committee member, Mookodi Seisa’s blood.

Rollers has not known peace

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since a power struggle broke out two years ago and only intensified at the beginning of the season.

The Blues signed well at the start of the season and still carry sufficient gravitas to bounce back and snatch the title.

Orapa United were installed as new leaders following a clinical 3-0 win over struggling Nico United.

Rollers’ nightmare at Highlanders only served to confirm their slip to second spot.

Rollers fans will only hope that the grim ripper, who brutalised their campaign last season, has not returned with much more vigour and dastardly intents as the club prepares for a watershed annual general meeting on Saturday.

Rollers interim co-chairperson, Walter Kgabung believes the boardroom fights have not entirely affected the team’s performance.

“Rollers is number two on the log and led for 99 percent of the season. The team has managed to absorb pressure until now. The team has probably cracked, but we cannot point at one factor. It might be complacency or fatigue, but that (squabbles) could be a contributing factor,” Kgabung said yesterday.

He said they had tried all along to insulate the team from the effects of the internal fights, but events leading to the weekend’s match ‘broke the camel’s back’. A media conference was called last week where a certain section of the committee announced it was preparing to take Township Holdings co-director, Jagdish Shah to court as he had ignored a court ruling.

Kgabung said: “It is a blessing that we lose now so that the team re-focuses.  I am confident we will win the league, we have the right players. The AGM comes at the right time and will soon pass”.

Rollers’ next play a demoralised Motlakase Power Dynamos on Friday eager to avoid a loss, which would confirm another miserable January.

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