With just minutes to kickoff, I had a nice little conversation with my friend and professional colleague Solace Chukwu. He was, of course reflecting on yesterday’s blog before mentioning a new shiny Center Back named on the match day lineup. Stephen Manyo was the name and we mused over him for a bit.
Just like you, I don’t know what he looks like or who he was. I had seen his name on the substitutes bench for one of those fixtures and that was that. Solacy did highlight though that he thought he was some guy originally on the books of Calabar Rovers. You remember Enyimba’s stint in Calabar?
Then he asked, shortly afterwards what would happen if debuting goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili hands us our first away clean-sheet of the season. It sounded good but like you, I’d had my hopes dashed way too many times that having faith in this team on away days isn’t that easy for me.
Both players did make their bow and striker Wasiu led the line for us. It was a determined and disciplined performance as the LMC handle did speak of blocks and interceptions as the hosts looked to find route to our goal. Nelson Ogbonnaya was the Center back partner and with Nasiru and Abalogu on either flank, we did pose an impregnable wall.
Aside just being our first away point of the season, this result will help instill in this team a belief that a point can turn three while outside of the Enyimba territory. We did lament a lack of identity and belief that we don’t have to lose just because we are not in familiar environment. This result should most definitely strengthen that.
Instilling the Enyimba culture and ideology appears easier when the players being tutored are easily malleable. The old warhorses with sad histories and experiences more often than not, step into the pitch already defeated before the first ball is kicked. Just like we echoed on our blog after the Wikki defeat.
It’s still early days and we will require a lot more of such performances and even better to make it to the playoffs and eventually win the League this season. Yea, just like to you; talk of winning the League is premature. But then again, hope doesn’t make ashamed.