NPFL: Enyimba edge title holders Plateau in Calabar - FCNaija

NPFL By: Ambrose Udeme | 14/02/2018

Enyimba FC

A tense, occasionally fractious encounter between Enyimba and NPFL Champions Plateau United in Calabar ended 1-0 in favour of the Aba Landlords thanks to an early Stanley Dimgba strike on Wednesday.

Ahead of the rescheduled Matchday 8 clash, Technical Adviser Paul Aigbogun welcomed back a number of his key men from the sidelines. Thus, he made five changes from the side that got a draw in the previous game against El Kanemi Warriors.

On the back of an impressive cameo in Maiduguri, Freedom Omofoman made his first start of the league season, and immediately threatened with his pace early on. Chinonso Okonkwo's flick sent him through for the game's first chance, but he overran the ball, before producing a tame finish.

Enyimba were in the ascendancy, and after initial penalty appeals had been waved away after Wasiu Alalade went to ground, in the 10th minute the referee was in no doubt. Emma James clearly handled the ball inside the box, presenting Dimgba with a chance to open the scoring. He duly dispatched, claiming his fourth goal of the campaign.

Credit to Plateau United, who showed greater intent after going behind, Raphael Ayagwa's low shot from distance drawing a save from Fatau Dauda. However, for the most part they were well marshaled by the unit of Nelson Ogbonnaya and Ifeanyi Anaemena, and indeed the latter could have made the difference at the attacking end as well. After good work from Franco, he poked a pass through the Plateau United defence to Okonkwo, whose rasping drive was palmed away by Plateau keeper Okiemute Odah.

Odah again was on hand, denying Dimgba a second by coming off his line quickly to smother the winger's shot.

Dimgba and Wasiu Alalade both came close to doubling the lead in a second-half bedeviled by niggling fouls. Substitute Tosin Omoyele came closest to drawing the hosts level, latching onto a flick by the mammoth Emeka Umeh, but his left-footed effort veered wide.

There was still time for the visitors' captain Salomon Junior to be sent off, after elbowing Anaemena off the ball.

The result takes Enyimba up to fifth on the table, with 13 points from eight matches.