Stellenbosch Football Club

Stellies made to rue missed chances in Chippa United stalemate


Stellenbosch FC were made to rue a number of missed chances after being held to a goalless draw by Chippa United in Gqeberha.

Going in pursuit of a fifth consecutive win across all competitions, Stellenbosch FC were forced to settle for a point away from home on Saturday after playing out a 0-0 draw against Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Steve Barker’s side made a fast start to the encounter and came close to opening the scoring in the opening 10 minutes through Iqraam Rayners. After a goal-mouth scramble was defended and cleared by Stellies’ back-line, the ball made its way to the in-form striker who tried to lob Chippa ‘keeper Stanley Nwabali from range, only to be denied by a finger-tip save.

Jayden Adams was next to test the opposition goal with a glancing header that sailed just wide, before Rayners forced a corner out of Nwabali minutes later with a mistimed effort that nearly found its way into the back of the net.

The match descended into a topsy-turvy affair for the remainder of the first half but neither side was able to find the breakthrough – the teams heading into the dressing rooms with the scores deadlocked.

Following the half-time interval, it was the hosts who were quickest out of the blocks and threatened Stellies’ goal with a succession of corners and set-pieces, but goalkeeper Sage Stephens and his back-line stood firm to deny their advances.

That allowed a counter-attack at the other end on the hour mark when Jayden Adams – recently called up to the Bafana Bafana squad – danced his way through midfield before finding Rayners with an inch-perfect pass, but Nwabali was once again on hand to deny the 27-year-old.

Shortly thereafter, it was Adams’ turn to test the goal himself when he cut in from the left wing and attempted to curl a right-footed effort on goal, but his shot was too straight and well-saved by the Nigerian international in the opposing goal.

Stellies’ failure to convert those chances in front of goal led to a frenetic conclusion to the match as both teams were denied a late winner by some last-gasp goalkeeping by the men between the sticks.

First, Chippa United came inches away from snatching victory through Ronaldo Maarman who was denied by a reflex save from Stephens, before Nwabali denied Rayners the decider at the other end, making himself big to block an effort after the striker latched onto a bad back pass.

Ultimately, there would be no separating the two sides as Stellies were made to settle with a point away from home.