The much anticipated Blantyre derby between Be Forward Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets ended in a 1-all draw to hand the TNM Super League leaders a massive advantage in the championship race with less than 6 games to play before the end of the season.
With a seven point gap between the two sides, Bullets wanted all the three points to cut the lead but the mission proved too difficult to achieve as the Nomads defended jealously in the entire 90 minutes to leave Bingu National Stadium with heads held high.
The Nomads took the lead inside the first 6 minutes of the first half, with Joseph Kamwendo scoring a beauty from a free kick before being substituted due to an injury, and Chiukepo Msowoya equalizing for Bullets on the half hour mark.
The opening minutes saw the home team dominating, forcing the visitors to concede set pieces in the process but the combination of Esau Kanyenda and Jafali Chande wasn’t very much effective as they kept on firing blanks.
However, the hosts were the first to find the back of the net. Miracle Gabeya brought down Chande outside Bullets’ penalty box, forcing referee Dennis Ngulube to award the Nomads a free kick.
Kamwendo stepped in and slotted his effort over Bullets’ war before beating Chiyenda to the far right into the back of the net, 1-0.
However, Kamwendo was taken off just moments after scoring when he twisted his knee.
The Nomads almost doubled their tally when Gabeya made a school boy error inside his own box but Chande failed to put the ball into the net in unbelievable circumstances.
Just when everybody thought the Nomads were in control, the visitors turned it around, Fischer Kondowe being the architect as he delivered a masterclass cross into the box for Msowoya to release a bullet header which was too much for Richard Chipuwa in goals for the hosts, 1-1.
Bullets were now in control of possession through Mike Mkwate and Kondwani Kumwenda but Harry Nyirenda was too stubborn at the back for the Nomads as he made some series of fantastic clearances to keep his team into the game.
Come second half, the midfield battle intensified between Alfred Manyozo Jnr and Kondwani Kumwenda, resulting into fewer chances created.
Wanderers brought in Precious Sambani for Ted Sumani as they tried to tame Kondowe’s pace in the right flank.
After 5 minutes into the half, Kanyenda received the ball from Isaac Kaliyati, but his effort was blasted into the crowd.
At the other end, Msowoya produced Bullets’ first attempt. He run onto the ball and from the edge of the area drew a save from Chipuwa in the 52nd minute.
From the corner, birthday boy Emmanuel Zoya had a free header but he could not keep the ball down as he missed from close range.
Muhammad Sulumba, Nelson Kangunje and Jimmy Zakazaka were all introduced with 25 minutes left as Bullets looked to find the winner while Khumbo Ng’ambi came in for the Nomads.
Ng’ambi’s impact was imminent when he forced his way into the box only to fall down unchallenged as he was looking for a penalty that was never given by Ngulube.
After 90 minutes of play, 1-1 it ended.
The result changes nothing on the log table, with Wanderers still maintaining their 7 point over their rivals who have a game in hand.
Elsewhere, Azam Tigers and Red Lions drew 1-1 while MAFCO FC came from behind to force Masters Security to a 2-2 draw.