PREMIERSHIP football returned to Mabvuku yesterday with former champions Gunners sharing spoils with reigning champions Motor Action in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Lafarge Cement.
Though featuring champions and former champions, the match failed to draw a sizeable crowd as was largely expected.
Though the Cuthbert Chitima-led Gunners, administration should be commended for doing a good job in bringing the game to Mabvuku. The stadium still remains a security risk to players and match officials as there is no security fence around the soccer pitch.
Fans who stayed away from the match did not lose much as the two teams played without conviction, as if they had connived to bore fans with a mediocre display of football.
Gunners, featuring a number of big name players such as Leonard Tsipa, Ashley Rambanepasi and David Sengu, looked short of ideas and on the few chances that they got their strikers either shot wide of goal or found veteran goalkeeper Marlon Jani at his best.
They could have fallen behind in the 10th minute, but Motor Action midfielder Allan Gahadzikwa headed a Kuda Musharu cross over the bar with the Gunners defence at sixes and sevens.
Barely a minute later Gunners' Rambanepasi, who was blowing hot and cold throughout the match launched a counter attack that saw him releasing his former teammate at CAPS United, Tsipa, but the latter shot wide of goal with Jani a beaten man.
Halfway through the first half national Under 23 goalkeeper, George Chigova had to draw all his best reflexes to deny Enasio Perezo his side's opener.
The second half saw Gunners being the more purposeful side with Rambanepasi having raised his game and came close to scoring barely three minutes after resumption, but his long range attempt at goal was parried off for a corner by Jani.
Gunners' failure to find the target in the opening two matches is something that is surely giving coach Darlington Dodo sleepless nights.
"We need to polish our strike force and that is something that we are working on. Last week we failed to score again, but the good thing is that we are also not conceding the goals," Dodo said.
His opposite number Joey Antipas expressed his displeasure at the match venue which he described as bumpy.
"This is one of the good stadiums that we have in the country, but today I felt that it was rather bumpy. On the match, I think we could have won it if we had managed to convert afew chances that fell our way," he said.
Gunners FC 0
Motor Action 0