The rustiness in the UWC squad’s legs arguably showed in the month’s first clash, on 7 August, when mid-table Ma Indies secured a 1-1 home draw.
UDubs reacted well to Ma Indies opening the scoring in the 20th minute when Molatelo Kobo equalised 18 minutes later. However, Thinasonke Mbuli’s charges couldn’t find a way through in the second and lost Snegugu Zondi to a red card so had to head home from Giyani content with the point gained.
Three days later, Golden Ladies arrived on campus and UWC showed why they were near the top of the table and the visitors were propping it up.
Sibulele Holweni opened the scoring in the 10th minute, added two more and was joined on the scoresheet by Noxolo Cesane (two) and Nelly Mamabolo as UWC racked up a 6-0 victory.
However, things weren’t as easy in their next fixture on 14 August, away at Durban Ladies.
Try as they might at Chatsworth Stadium, UDubs couldn’t find the breakthrough as shots were deflected, headers went narrowly wide and threatening passages of play were thwarted by the mid-table Durbanites. And so, it ended 0-0.
Mbuli’s charges had some respite with a full week of training before their next fixture. In the interim, Banyana Banyana stalwart Leandra Smeda returned ‘home’ to add her overseas professional experience to the team’s attack.
She wasn’t quite ready for the scheduled televised clash against Bloemfontein Celtic on 22 August, played Erica Park in nearby Belhar, and neither was captain Bongeka Gamede (out with a knee injury) but UWC were still able to get the better of Phunya Sele Sele.
The visitors opened the scoring early on, and held onto the lead until halftime thanks to some wastefulness from the UWC.
The comeback started through a goal from Molatelo Kobo just before the hour mark. Then, with 15 minutes to play, Noxolo Cesane completed the turnaround and the ladies in gold and blue held onto the 2-1 lead to secure a vital three points and second place on the log with the first half of the campaign completed.
TUT then made the trip to the Bellville on 28 August and caught UWC cold by scoring an early opener. The visitors promptly doubled their lead after 20 minutes leaving Mbuli and her team with much to do if another comeback was on the cards.
As it happens, it was not to be this time around as – despite picking up a red card and Smeda making her #HBSL debut - the team from the nation’s capital held on to the 2-0 scoreline.
That first home defeat of the season dropped UWC to fourth place on the standings but still within touching distance of all of Mamelodi Sundowns, TUT and JVW - even if the leaders have matches in hand.
AUGUST 2021 RESULTS AT A GLANCE
|7 August||Ma Indies Ladies||1-1||Away||Molatelo Kobo|
|10 August||Golden Ladies||6-0||Home||Sibulele Holweni 3 (1 pen), Noxolo Cesane 2, Nelly Mamabolo|
|14 August||Durban Ladies||0-0||Away||-|
|22 August||Bloemfontein Celtic||2-1||Home||Molatelo Kobo, Noxolo Cesane|
|28 August||TUT Ladies||0-2||Home||-|
HOLLYWOODBETS SUPER LEAGUE LOG SNAPSHOT (as at 31 August 2021)