Top of the table Plateau United were the luckier side on a day their opponents, FC IfeanyiUbah dominated play but could not make good of their free flowing passes.
Plateau United won 1-0 to establish again their five point lead over second placed MFM, whose game in Enugu against Rangers was aborted by heavy downpour.
Coaches on both sides had different perspectives to the outcome with Yaw Preko of FC IfeanyiUbah insisting the result was not a true reflection of the exchanges on the pitch. For Kennedy Boboye, whose side got a favourable result, the outcome was satisfactory.
An apparently relieved Boboye expressed would admit that it was a tough challenge from the Federation Cup champions but took solace in the fact that the win has further renewed his side’s ambition to end the season in pole position.
“First, I’m satisfied with the result, it’s total victory but it was a tough game, IfeanyiUbah really gave a good fight but you could see that we could have won by more goals,” he began.
Insisting the result was not fair to the output of his wards, Preko said, “”I think it was a good match for my players, I’m okay with their display it’s a match to look back at and say we did well.
“We couldn’t have lost this game, even as I don’t want to talk about the decision (penalty) that make the difference but overall it’s good game, we will show that against Gombe United because we are going to hit them hard in Sunday”.
The grueling clash which was witnessed by sizable crowd at the Rwang Pam Stadium saw the hosts taking an early lead from the spot after Stephen Eze tripped Owolabi Hamzat in the box when he attempted to take aim.
The visitors protested the call for some some moments before James stepped forward to place the ball behind the reach of stretching Ikechukwu Ezenwa.
IfeanyiUbah responded with meaningful attack and could have levelled up moments after but Godwin Obaje saw his effort wasted from a measured long pass from Aniyikaiye Adeleye.
The hosts survived series of attack from their visitors and then grew into the game once again and could have doubled their lead on the 22nd minute when Peter Eneji’s goal bound shot was blocked by Eze in the box..
It was almost about FC IfeanyiUbah till the end of first stanza as they initiated attacks that could have seen them level up the score sheet but were unlucky as the likes of Elu Wilson and Adeleye came close to scoring for the Anambra Warriors.
On resumption, Plateau United keeper Oladele Ajiboye was called to action on the 56th minute to parry Anthony Alaekwe’s shot to corner.
Plateau responded with Hamzat missing a golden opportunity to double the lead for the hosts on 59th minutes when he miscued a well measured pass from Mubaraq Umar.
The introduction of Seka Pascal almost changed the game for the visitors as the forward combined well to threaten Plateau United’s defense.
Boboye summed up their expectations ahead the remaining games of the season this: “Game by game, we are getting there. This has given us the belief and hope of remaining where we are till the end.
It’s a resolve and decision we had (me and players) in the beginning that we want to make a statement this season and we are doing that gradually, I do hope we will be there till the end”.
For Preko, hopes are still alive for a top four finish.
“We are still hopeful of finishing the league well, we have a good team and I’m confident of my players that we can achieve better things,” he said.
Plateau United are still holding forth on the top of the NPFL log with 54 points from 39 games as they will travel to Makurdi to take on Lobi Stars.