Home Sport Richards Bay top DStv Premiership after win over Royal AM

Richards Bay top DStv Premiership after win over Royal AM

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Newly-promoted Richards Bay climbed to the top of the Premiership standings on Tuesday after a narrow 1-0 win over Royal AM in Durban.

Luvuyo Memela celebrates with teammates after scoring the winner against Royal AM at Chatsworth Stadium on Tuesday.
Luvuyo Memela celebrates with teammates after scoring the winner against Royal AM at Chatsworth Stadium on Tuesday. Picture: Muzi Ntombela, BackpagePix

Durban – Newly-promoted Richards Bay claimed a 1-0 victory over Royal AM at Chatsworth Stadium on Tuesday to climb to the top of the DStv Premiership standings.

Luvuyo Memela capitalised on confusion in the Royal AM box to hand his team the advantage in the 27th minute.

The veteran winger pounced as the ball bounced between defenders, after his first effort was parried by Patrick Nyame, and he reacted quickest again to fire past the Cameroon international to give the visitors the lead.

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Royal AM came into the encounter looking to make it three consecutive league victories and extend their lead at the top of the log, with Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu hot on their trail.

Royal AM had to make do without the experienced duo of Ricardo Nascimento and Thabo Matlaba at the back, two players who have given the team a solid foundation to build on and it was no surprise when the side conceded through miscommunication in the first half.

The hosts bossed possession as expected and created a few half-chances on occasion, but largely struggled to break down a stubborn Natal Rich Boyz defensive rearguard.

Royal AM could have made the perfect start to the second half if it wasn’t for excellent last-ditch defending by Richards Bay on the goal line.

Mfundo Thikazi, who had been kept quiet until that point, weaved through defenders and drove a powerful ball across goal for Motebang Sera to meet but his attempted tap-in was blocked by a defender, further frustrating Royal AM.

Richards Bay have adapted to life in the top flight quite impressively.

An integral element of coach Pitso Dladla’s team has been their unwillingness to concede, having let in just three goals in their opening six matches, a record that is only bettered by TS Galaxy.

The Royal AM technical team began to weigh up their options off the bench as the clock hit the hour mark with the likes of Jabulani Ncobeni and André de Jong making their appearances, and surprise bench-inclusion club chairperson Andile Mpisane also available to come on.

But Richards Bay held out for a famous victory over their provincial foes and climbed to the top of the log.

Royal AM will swap out domestic duties for continental competitions at the weekend as they travel to Eswatini for a clash against Mbabane Highlanders in the Caf Confederation Cup, while Richards Bay will enjoy a two-week break before they face TS Galaxy.

@ScribeSmiso

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