A goodly performance in Gombe saw us almost nick the vitals from struggling League newcomers Gombe United. Ikechukwu Ibenegbu gave us a lead early in the second half but the hosts leveled 10 minutes before full time. You can argue that it’s been a shambolic season for the newcomers and that even Rangers got a point off them there but there are indeed reasons to celebrate this 1-1 result.
Here are three things from that fixture.
1. Dauda gets the plaudits but this was superb team performance: Getting any kind of point away from home in the League is no mean feat. Otherwise, why isn’t it happening every other week all across the different centers? Here as with the Remo game, the team stood tall and strong. Put in a defensive shift that frustrated the hosts till very late. Ghanaian Goalkeeper Fatau Dauda pulled off several brilliant saves and somehow he looks the best goalkeeper in the squad at the moment, playing three games in a row.
The fact also that the gaffer has maintained some stability in his selection has benefited the side. Here he made just two changes- playing new signing Goodluck Onamado and Ichull Lordson for injured Andrew Abalogu at Right Back and skipper Mfon Udoh. It won’t be out of place to start getting excited.
2. Strikers misfiring? no problem: The dominant thought in the past few days has been how wasteful our strikers have been and how goals have been very difficult to come by. Against Sunshine Stars, (who by the way were trounced at home by Plateau United yesterday), we knew we lost a game we should not have drawn but should have won. It was similar at the weekend when we beat Plateau United via the boots of our makeshift Right Back, Andrew Abalogu.
This time, the goal came from the midfield albeit thanks to the good work by striker Ibrahim Mustapha. The mini drought is a problem that Ogunbote must find solutions for and speedily too, in the meantime however, goals are welcome from other departments. Take a bow Ibenegbu.
3. We have progressed and are much better than last year: Many of us have last season boldly marked “a total failure”. It’s hard to disagree. This season, we have added steely displays away from home as opposed to the meek and spineless performances away from home from last year. What makes the Ogunbote project even more interesting is the fact that this is also a new team and a new gaffer last year.
Perhaps things were so bad last year that it probably couldn’t have been any worse to make an ascent from. The stench of last season is finally off and although we are yet to return home, fans are believing again. And this is a good thing.
Featured picture courtesy Enyimba Twitter.