Swallows FC returned to winning form in the DStv Premiership with a 2-0 triumph over Royal AM at the Dobsonville Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The Birds snapped a five-game winless streak in the league thanks to goals either side of halftime from Gregory Damons and Mwape Musonda, while Thwihli Thwahla have now suffered a hat-trick of defeats.
The result sees the Soweto side rise to 12th place on the log, just one point and two places adrift of Royal, who were early pace-setters this season but have lost momentum in recent weeks.
Royal clicked into the upper gears early on and were soon testing out Swallows’ defence, with Sedwyn George denied by goalkeeper Thakasani Mbanjwa in the opening minutes.
The Birds gradually found their attacking rhythm and threatened through Tshediso Patjie in the 13th minute, with the winger letting fly from long range but sending the ball narrowly wide of the mark.
Swallows had further efforts from Waseem Isaacs and Mwape Musonda which were both close shaves for the visitors, before load shedding hit the stadium and there was a pause in the game while the floodlights were brought back online.
Upon resumption, the Soweto side continued to build momentum and again went close to an opening goal via Isaacs, who headed wide from Junaid Sait’s free kick delivery.
Darrel Matsheke also had a great chance for Swallows, but his effort was turned over the crossbar by an excellent save from Royal’s Zakahle Ngcobo.
It seemed only a matter of time until the home side broke the deadlock and two minutes into an extended spell of added time they hit the back of the net via Gregory Damons, who cracked home from an assist by Isaacs.
Royal looked for a quick response through Mokete Mogaila, but he shot straight at Mbanjwa, before Swallows nearly went two goals up through Patjie, who again shot off target when given a sight of goal, leaving the score 1-0 in favour of the hosts at the break.
And the Birds did not have to wait long into the second stanza to make it 2-0: on 51 minutes Musonda was given a sight of goal and sent a right-footed shot beyond the reach of Ngcobo to put the hosts in complete control.
Thwihli Thwahla sought a way back into the game and had promising moments via substitute Mxolisi Machupu, who saw his 64th minute shot turned away by the ‘keeper, while Ricardo Nascimento headed wide 10 minutes later.
Those proved to be the closest attempts Royal would come to a goal, with Swallows able to see out the match and secure an important victory which gets them back on track.
Royal will next be in DStv Premiership action when they host Golden Arrows on October 25, while Swallows’ next league match is away to SuperSport United on October 30.
Swallows FC (1) 2 (Damons 45+2’, Musonda 51’)
Royal AM 0
Swallows: Mbanjwa, Lukhubeni, Letlabika, Sait, Zulu, Damons (Amoojee 79’), Mthethwa, Matsheke, Patjie (Allan 90’), Isaacs (Malinga 79’), Musonda (Khipe 72’)
Royal: Ngcobo, Shezi (Thikazi 59’), Lingwati, Nascimento, Manganyi (Matlaba 58’), Mzila (Gamildien 46’), Dlamini, Mahlasela, Mogaila, De Jong (Stoffels 65’), George (Machupu 58’)
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