Blantyre — Red Lions Sunday utilized their home advantage to silence TNM defending Champions, Be Forward Wanderers with a 1-0 beating during the first-round league encounter at Mangochi stadium.
Reds Coach, Stereo Gondwe claimed his first win at the helm by downsizing newly appointed Wanders Coach, Bob Mpinganjira
The Zomba based solders got all their important goal through Royal Bokosi in the first half of the encounter.
With the win, Red Lions have returned to third position on the log table with 15 points from game games while Wanderer's has drifted to position 12 with eight points from six games
This is Bob's maiden game in charge after being entrusted the mantle to lead the team after taking over former coach, Yasin Osman who has since assumed the new role of Technical Director which was previously held by late Jack Chamangwana.
For Gondwe, the win confirmed Red Lions steady progress since he took charge and justified his team's selection, including the decision to stick with new faces like that of James Chirwa.
He opted to start with Boniface Kaulesi who combined with Mathews Simbeyi upfront while fantastic captain Benesi Kaisi marshalled the defence brilliantly.
The soldiers demonstrated no fear in taking the game to Wanderers from the kick - off.
That belief was summed up in the way they carved open the visitor's defence to force the breakthrough.
Wanderers were dealt a big blow when injured Felix Zulu was replaced by Francisco Madinga. Before his substitution, Zulu showed signs of being off the pace when he pulled a close-range volley across the face of the goal.
The Nomads who struggled a lot upfront where Zicco Mkanda partnered Esau Karyenda lacked their usual killer punch.
While Red Lions keeper Brighton Ngwenyama was obliged to save sitters from Joseph Kamwendo, Francisco Madinga and Esau Kanyenda's header, the Nomads struggled to create enough clear openings during the first half.
With most of their players ineffective, Mpinganjira reacted to a disappointing first half by introducing Rafiq Namwera and Peter Wadabwa for Stanley Sanudi and Karyenda respectively in an attempt to secure an equalizer but the soldiers defended in numbers.
Towards the end of the game, the initial signs were positive for the Nomads, although they could have fallen behind had referee taken a different view of a handball incident which he waved play on.
The ball struck Ernest Nkasauka's hand as Lucky Malata who produced his best performance in a Nomad shirt, attempted to cut inside the edge of the soldiers' box.
To the soldier's relief, the referee viewed the incident in a different way as he waved on for play on.
Wanderers stepped up the pressure in the latter stages, but Mkanda's 83rd-minute shot summed up the day.
Mkanda's shot was too weak for Ngwenyama as the ball ended up in his palms.
After the last whistle, some Nomads players in disbelief took minutes to leave the field of play, as the soldiers were marching forward for their victory.
Red Lions Coach, Stereo Gondwe was delighted with the performance of his boys and insisted they will make Mangochi a no-go-zone for visiting teams.
Wanderers Coach, Mpinganjira described the results of the game as a setback in their quest to defending the title.