2020/2021 NML: Ekiti United Ease Out Of Relegation Zone With Victory Over Rovers
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Ekiti United Saturday eased pressure on the management, perhaps momentarily as they moved out of the mud waters in the 2020/2021 Nigeria National League following a hard-fought 2-1 against victors Calabar Rovers in a rescheduled encounter.
The match proved to be one of the toughest for Ekiti United even though they were the hosts, as the visitors attempted to dent the almost 100% home record.
Rovers fc tutored by a familiar tactician, Samson Inuanel were lucky not to concede an early goal as Afeez Yussuf and Kehinde Olajuyin had a couple of scoring chances that were not converted.
In the 22nd minute of the encounter, the visitors out of nowhere pounced on the defence of Ekiti United and scored the goal that put everyone under pressure throughout the first half.
As soon as the heart-breaking goal was scored, players and especially the goalkeeper of Rovers fc started falling to the ground at every touch as a time wasting method
The first half ended in their favour as all efforts by Ekiti United players were absorbed through every available means.
On resumption for the second half, frantic efforts were made by the host team to find the equalizer but the visitors came up with a funny gimmick by calling for the ambulance .
The March was halted for minutes as overtures for re-commencement of the match by commissioner for youth and sports Development in Ekiti state, Mr Micheal Awopetu and other stakeholders fell on deaf ears until the ambulance was stationed at the stadium .
Inform Timothy Akinyemi who had been a thorn in the flesh of Rovers fc from the beginning of the match gave Ekiti United some hope with an equalizer from the penalty spot after Olaosebikan Akanmu who was brought in the second half was hacked down inside the Rovers box .
1-1 the match stood but the fans were obviously thirsty for nothing but victory and they kept on cheering the team on until the combination of both Akanmu Olaosebikan and Timothy Akinyemi earned Ekiti United a hard fought victory in the match which was the first for the team to come from a goal down in the first stanza of the NNL 2021.
The goal was greeted by a huge celebration as the fans were apprehensive and almost losing hope
Ekiti United coach, Ayodeji Ayeni was full of praises for the fans but urged them to keep faith and be calm during the team’s matches in the second stanza of the league .
Coach Ayeni who applauded the entire squad for being resolute in the face of challenges also assured that the team will be fortified during the mid-season break with more quality players
Ekiti united captain, Babatunde Bello described the match against Rovers fc as the toughest in the first stanza of the season.
The 2-1 victory took Ekiti United from the relegation zone on the Southern conference B1 table to the 6th position with 14 points from 11 matches.
The second stanza of the NNL hopes to bring forth more opportunities to move up the ladder as the team shall have the opportunity of playing two consecutive home matches.
Out of 11 matches during the first stanza , Ekiti United played 5 home matches , won 4 and drew 1 while the team also drew 1 away match and lost 5.
Ekiti United will open the second stanza of the NNL with an away match against table topping Shooting Stars of Ibadan on April 25.