Township Rollers’ season meandered further into the woods on Wednesday night with a fourth defeat on the trot, laying an unwanted platform for a barren season. Rollers woes, meanwhile, make sweet music to log leaders, Mochudi Centre Chiefs who are now emboldened by a four-point lead, writes MQONDISI DUBE
Police XI’s Ishmael Amponsah two crack strikes sparked an unexpected Township Rollers slide, which has now extended to five defeats in six matches.
Seemingly running away with the title and sitting four points ahead of nearest rivals, Mochudi Centre Chiefs at the festive break, Rollers’ season is on the verge of capitulation.
In just five matches, Chiefs have spectacularly reversed the deficit and now lead their blood rivals by four points. When a subdued Rollers surrendered a goal advantage against Police XI to eventually lose 2-1, it appeared like a fizzing turbulence. Rollers scoured the mangled wreck for excuses and argued their rhythm had not returned from the festive season break.
Normal service was restored the following weekend when Rollers beat Extension Gunners 4-2 at the National Stadium with a rampant Sekhana Koko and Segolame Boy starring.
But, Chiefs returned to remind them of the tough second round ahead with a decisive 1-0 win, before BDF XI extended Rollers nightmare with a 2-0 romp. After the Chiefs and BDF XI defeats, fans searched for answers and thought the absence of their Zimbabwean title winning coach, Madinda Ndlovu was behind the mini rot. However, after Wednesday night’s defeat, the fourth on the trot, fans appear out of excuses as reality blasts in their face that it might, after all the bright start, end barren for a club with a rich history. Rollers were unbeaten in 15 matches at the start of the year, but that record has been soiled by five defeats in the last six matches with only one win in 2015. Now, Rollers limp into Sunday’s Mascom Top 8 semi-final clash against BDF XI aware of its new significance. It is a clash that offers the hugely popular side the opportunity to reassure its fans that they can still rescue their season. After all they still have the gravitas and the arsenal to bounce back. Their midseason signings, Noah Maposa, Jerome Ramatlhakwana, Edwin Moalosi and Dirang Moloi are yet to fire Rollers.
There is still the unresolved CAF Champions League matter against Kaizer Chiefs next week Saturday with the Gaborone giants trailing 2-1 from the first leg. But while Rollers sift through the rubble of a souring season, Magosi are ready to launch a crushing assault on the beMOBILE Premier League title. Armed with a four- point lead, Mike Sithole’s charges have emerged as favourites to snatch the title from Rollers.