By Elaine Mpofu
The hotly contested battle for promotion into the Premier Soccer League between foes Sheasham and TelOne reached it’s crescendo last weekend after the two Gweru based teams played out to a 1-1 draw in what turned out to be a lethargic and ill-tempered clash.
This clash turned out to be a fiery battle on and off the field of play as both sides employed massive dirty tactics to frustrate each other.
First it was Sheasham who were denied entry into the match venue, Ascot Stadium, and had to return to their base, Gweru Sports Club to conduct their warm up.
This has rather become a common thing in the region, as TelOne experienced the same treatment in the reverse fixture hosted by Sheasham.
How and why the authorities at the regional offices are reluctant to end this pathetic act remains a worrisome sticking point.
In this one, kick-off was delayed for about 30 minutes but when action finally commenced, both sides failed to live upto their billing.
Between proceedings, the rival coaches, Tendai Chikuni and John Nyikadzino were on each other’s throats, exchanging obscenities and harsh verbal jabs in the dugout.
As far as the quality of play, there was nothing to write home about except for the quality goals that were carved out by Sheasham’s MacDonald Mavuto and Marvelous Chigumira of TelOne from set pieces in the first half.
Log leaders Sheasham exhibited shocking poor sportsmanship particularly in the second half as players feigned injuries to waste time on each TelOne were on the offensive.
Their technical team went as far as throwing balls on the pitch to disrupt play, while their coach invaded the pitch on several occasions protesting some of the referee’s decisions.
That though went uncautioned.
TelOne coach Tendai Chikuni was left livid about how his opponents disrupted play and how the match officials handled the clash.
“It’s not good sportsmanship, to have play being disrupted on each time we attack. The referees never cautioned anyone about that,” Chikuni said.
“A team can’t talk of getting promoted into the premiership for as long as they play in an unruly manner. We did our best but the officiating let us down.”
His counterpart John Nyikadzino snubbed the media, as he sent his assistant Bruno Zingwe, who said the result was satisfactory.
Sheasham remain on the summit of the log standings with five points separating them from TelOne but this second half of the season promises to keep fans on their edge of their seats, with the rivarly between the top teams as the main talking point.