Ten-man Free State Stars put up a spirited display to secure a 2-2 draw against Premiership Champions Bidvest Wits on Tuesday evening.
Bidvest Wits came into the fixture as Premiership Champions but were looking to end a three-year hoodoo at Goble Park – where they’ve failed to register three points since 2014.
With manager Gavin Hunt still serving his touchline ban, assistant Paul Johnstone remained in charge and handed 17-year-old Kobamelo Kodisang his debut.
Signed from Platinum Stars in the off-season the mercurial talent skinned his marker to make his way to the byline before his dangerous cross somehow found its way into the net through the hands of goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare.
Stars managed to withhold the relentless pressure the pacey visitors inflicted in the opening stages and managed to get their foot on the ball to carve a few half-chances. And Sammy Troughton’s side were duly rewarded when midfielder Relebogile Makhouane scored a spectacular equaliser.
Defensive midfielder Makhehlene Makhaula was key to their first league goal of the season as he showed some neat footwork to get the better of teenager Kodisang before going on a marauding run towards the Students back-four.
A quick one-two followed with striker Allen Nono, before Makhaula squared the ball to Makhouane on the penalty spot to smash a first-time shot into the top corner – beyond Moeneeb Josephs’ grasp.
The second-half proved to be a more tactical encounter with both sides tightening up in midfield and defence – leaving little space for attackers to roam freely to express themselves.
However, that changed in the 68th minute when Ea Lla Koto defender Tamsanqa Teyise received his marching orders for his second bookable offence of the evening.
Another teenager put the Clever Boys ahead for the second time of the evening, as right-back Reeve Frolser showed real composure to beat Sangare.
However, five minutes later the South Africa youth international conceded a penalty for off-season signing Siphelele ‘Shaka Zulu’ Mthembu to find an 88th-minute equaliser.
The 2-2 result now sees Stars stretch their unbeaten run at home against the Clever Boys to seven games.