Close shave for Hearts

DSC_2181With three matches to end the 2014/2015 First Capital Plus Premier league, only two clubs are certain of not being relegated at the end of the season.

From third placed Inter Allies to 15th Bechem United, all teams are in danger of succumbing to the evil claws of relegation if they do not pick the maximum points available in the remaining matches.

However, that cannot be possible and that will lead to two more clubs joining B.A United to Division One, come next season.

With five matches to go, rumours emerged that matches were being fixed and referees being compromised to win matches for certain clubs.

When the matches reduced to four, the rumours intensified with some coaches and management members of clubs coming out to complain of unfair officiating – suspicion that moves by some to bribe their way to stay in the league also increased.

With three matches remaining, the refereeing profession has come under more scrutiny – they have received a lot of bashing for unfair officiating against visiting teams.

The trending news is all about bad officiating and match fixing.

Captain of Accra Great Olympics Godwin Attram, is the latest to wade into the poor officiating subject as he launched a scathing attack on Kumasi-based referee, Ernest Baafi, who handled the Aduana Stars and Great Olympics game last Sunday.

Skipper Attram was not enthused with refereeing decision that saw his side drawing 1-1 away with Aduana Stars at the Osagyefo Agyemang Badu Park in Dormaa Ahenkro.

The Wonder club raced into the lead through an Isaac Nyarko effort only for Aduana’s Nana Yaw Afriyie to rescue his side by converting from a late spot-kick to bring his side level.

The draw with the Accra-based side has however left Aduana three points behind leaders AshGold, while Olympics lie 13th on the league table.

Similarly, owner of New Edubiase United Abdul Salam Yakubu slammed referee Jonathan Tetteh for officiating poorly in their game against B.A United which saw the latter cancelling his sides lone goal lead to earn a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

Coach David Duncan of Kumasi Asante Kotoko also had his take on poor officiating by referee, Timothy Obuobisa, in his side’s game against Inter Allies at the Tema Sports Stadium on Sunday.

According to him, referee Obuobisa disallowed an obvious goal off a corner kick from Eric Donkor for no clear reason, even after the whole Inter Allies team had given in on the goal and were marching to the centre circle to resume play.

There are also allegations of some clubs paying other clubs to play it hard against clubs seen as a threat.

Goals-scoring again took a plunge after the week 26 improvement of 16 from week 25’s 13 — week 27 saw 15 goals being scored.

Hearts, who had resolved to wash off their relegation-threatened shame, lifted themselves out of danger with a 1-0 win over Bechem United at the Accra Sports Stadium last Sunday.

The win was the Phobians’ second successive win in their quest to avoid the drop and it has moved them four places up to 11th on the league table.

Bechem United, however, have now dropped into the relegation zone and are occupying the 15th position.

Ashanti Gold, however, came from a goal down to beat Medeama SC 2-1 in the crucial encounter at the Len Clay Sports Stadium in Obuasi.

Kwasi Bonsu gave the visitors an early lead in the seventh minute but Didier Kore hit back to equalize for the miners in the 32nd minute.

AshGold were later on awarded a penalty with just 10 minutes to end proceedings and Kore stepped up to the occasion to superbly convert the spot-kick which also turned out to be the match winner.

AshGold have now extended their lead back to three points with just three games to go.

At Tema, Inter Allies held Kotoko to a goalless draw to keep them at bay from the top four.

In the other matches WA All Stars lost 1-2 to Liberty professionals, whiles WAFA managed to beat Berekum Chelsea 2-1 in Sagakope.

Hasaacas continued to deepen the woes of Heart of Lions with a lone goal win at the Essipon Sports Stadium.

As the competition enters week 28, all eyes, especially clubs facing the drop, will be on each other and match officials, and obviously a comment or sighting of these two at the wrong time or place could bring in its wake an avalanche of accusations.

By Albert Agyeman

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