At the end of the day it was an Mfon Udoh show. 2 goals, one in each half, we eased over Abia Warriors. The Abia Derby lived up to its billing – a proper contest, an early goal that gave us the initiative in the game and calmed our nerves. In the past Abia Warriors have looked some kind of bogey team for us. There was no such nonsense this time around.
The lads meant business and with the knowledge that a win will put us in the too spots, they set out about it with purpose. The only surprise really was that the game which all week some folks had advertised was a TV game, never was. Fans waited in vain for the LMC to tweet the kickoff time. Pitifully, there was nothing of that sort. So we “watched” via Twitter updates. And It was raining and pouring nearly throughout the game.
The gaffer made just one change – restoring Mfon to the starting XI for midfielder Ichull Lordson. Dauda kept his fourth straight match on the trot while Goodluck Onamado who now wears our number 2 jersey continued at Right Back. Tireless Ibenegbu dictated things in the middle with Kelly Kester while our bright and shinny central defensive partners Anaemena and Ogbonnaya continued their partnership. Leonard, Mustapha, Akas and Dimgba made up the 11.
An early goal at home for us always works wonders, more so in a derby of this magnitude. I’ll have to find out from the statisticians how many games we have had to concede or even lose after we have scored the first goal at home. Imagine trying to break down stubborn defences and how that has cost us in such games as MFM and 3SC at home. An early goal is always a blessing.
Our dominance continued and we should have had more save poor finishing. It’s worthy to note though that Mfon’s goals have ended the so-called goal drought. We had a couple of penalty calls that the referee overlooked- and it did look a bit scary when former Enyimba winger Chimezie Amanfor pulled one back for them. Smokescreen it turned out to be.
Before the end, there were red cards to both teams- Kelly Kester got ours while Ozor I think got theres for them. That was of course late in the game and it wasn’t really a disadvantage to us. We held on to record a very deserved victory and for the first time this season, we are in the Continental spots; In 3rd position albeit 5 points off Plateau the league leaders. Project Ogunbote is bearing fruit. Everyone has to agree.
A truly satisfying note to end the weekend and while we all acknowledge that there’s still a lot of duels ahead, we can celebrate this win and the fantastic run Ogunbote has been able to fashion out. And yea, we can celebrate Mfon Udoh, our only player that knows how to score against Abia Warriors. Did I also tell you he has now scored 40 goals for Enyimba?