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New Town City take the crown

Date Released: Wed, 8 May 2013 16:00 +0200

New Town City soccer club were crowned the Makana Local Football Association (LFA) champions after beating Makana Pillars in a two-way play-off this week.

The two LFA sides finished top of their streams in the group matches during the season. The first of the play-offs took place at the Rhodes University King Field on Tuesday night, with Pillars coming out 2-1 winners.

The second of the play-offs took place on Wednesday's Workers' Day holiday at Fiddler's Green. Two matches in two days would test the sides' fitness.

The overall winner of the Makana LFA would be the team winning on aggregate (the team with the most goals from both games).

Wednesday's match got off to a strong start, as New Town City knew they had to win by at least two goals to take the Cup.

Not only would the winners take away the floating trophy, gold medals and R6 000, but they would also take part in the Cacadu play-offs for a spot in the South African Football Association Cacadu league.

In Wednesday's game, New Town City were first to test the keeper, but the kick went above the posts. Midway through the first half and New Town City were awarded a free kick from just inside Pillars half.

It was a superb kick, finding striker Mzabantu Maboza on the far post, who directed the kick between the diving keeper and the post, for New Town City to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

This meant the aggregate score was 2-2: game on.

New Town City got their moment in the 40th minute to take the aggregate lead after being awarded a penalty from a Pillars hand ball in the box area. However, it was an unlucky day for Lucky Ngcani, who took the penalty which saw the ball hitting the woodwork and being booted out of play by Pillars.

The New Town City keeper was tested on numerous occasions in the final minutes of the first half, but did well to make save after diving save.

The second half started at full throttle. Pillars restarted the game - only for New Town City to steal the ball, run down field by Xolisa Mngcongo, who took a shot at goal and beat the keeper.

It was 2-0 to New Town City. Pillars silenced the New Town City supporters in the 14th minute when Bulelani Papu scored 2-1 to New Town City (3-3 on aggregate).

New Town City put some urgency into their play, as the Pillars players started to feel the effects of the two close encounters.

Mzwabantu Mazuba and Xolisa Mngcongo each scored for New Town City in the final 10 minutes of play. New Town City won the second play-off 4-1 and 5-3 on aggregate, thus being crowned 2012/2013 Makana LFA champions.

President of the Makana LFA Ayanda Kota, said he was happy with the running of the 2012/2013 season.

Kota said the committee was also pleased to announce that the winners of the LFA would receive R6 000, over R5 000 more than in previous years.

He said this was due to monies collected from Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, and registration fees were also added to the winner's pool.

Kota said the Easter Soccer Tournament (still to be played due to postponements from rain) will see the winners take home R12 000, with R5 000 for the runners-up.

By Stephen Penney

New Town City goalkeeper Asanda Nkanti makes another jumping save during the play-offs against Makana Pillars last week. Photo: Stephen Penney