Going down to neighbours Crown Fc in Ogbomosho was always going to be a tough encounter in the teams opening game. Apart from how difficult it is to get points away from home in the Nigerian National League, Crown where playing at home for the first time in a long while and wouldn't have wanted to disappoint their fans who had longed to see their darling team at home once again.
Crown deserve to win this tie and could have knocked life out of us in the opening 45 minutes but they missed series of chances. The second half was a more balanced one but our hosts kept it tight at the back and whenever we got past them, AyobamiOjo was in no mood to be beaten in goal.
The game started with the home team dictating play and creating chances in between as they totally dominated the opening 45 minutes.
Adigun Adewale was everywhere for Crown, going past his markers and dazzled the fans with his skills.
Crown should have taken the lead in the 29th minute after AgunloyeLekan was left unmarked in the box from a Friday Musa corner only for him to head the ball off target. That miss injected more pace and urgency into game from our hosts and we couldn't find a way to get forward.
We were given an injury scare when midfielder, Jamilu Mohammed was fouled in aerial duel, landing awkwardly on his back in the process. It was a stoppage we needed even though it was at the expense of one of our own and as the game resumed, we attacked a few times but AyobamiOjo was not threatened due to his defenders thwarting every move.
Nathaniel had issues dealing with well flighted balls into his box and in the 45th minute, he miscalculated the flight of the ball. Luckily for the team at that time, BuchiOgwu was positioned well to clear it out of the danger zone.
Two minutes were added on and with one already gone, FeyishayoAkinbola who had earlier been booked, was adjudged to have brought down Adewale Adigun. The resulting freekick was taken, Nathaniel again came out and failed to get a hold of the ball and a nod back across the face goal was met by the head of Giwa Ahmed, who had an impressive game, to head home. Given Crown fc a deserved half time lead.
OlabodeAwakan responded to that goal by introducing ShakiruJolaosho for Peter Abakpa. The change coupled with the coach's pep talk during the break, brought life into us and we took the game to our hosts.
With six minutes of the second half gone, GbengaAdeshina found space around the box, shot at goal but AyobamiOjo went down early and saved it.
Things started looking brighter from that point as we attacked the opposition better and in the 57th minute, we should have gotten our equaliser. A good triangular play involving GbengaAdeshina, ShakiruJolaosho and John David created problems for Crown defenders only for their goalie to save the resulting shot.
SakaTaofeek was brought on for John David with 30 minutes to go, to add more bite to the attack. Instead, it was Crown that nearly got the second goal of the game. AgunloyeLekan's half volleyed effort was well saved by Nathaniel after AmusanTaiwo who came on for Adigun Adewale, found time and space to pick him out.
Few minutes after that, AmusanTaiwo should have at least been cautioned by the referee after he barged in on Nathaniel as it was obvious he couldn't get to the ball before the goalkeeper. Instead he got off with a warning to the annoyance of the C.O.D bench.
Crown were content sitting back and allowing us to attack them, hoping to hit us on the break. With a quarter of an hour left to play, ChineduObinor had a sight at goal, went for the kill and again AyobamiOjo saved it.
Coach OlabodeAwakan decided to bring on Dennis Lawrence in place of GbengaAdeshina. We continued setting the pace of the game but our hosts tried frustrating our players by wasting time and going down under every challenge.
Crown Fc held on and recorded a memorable win over us. Their return to their home had ended in a win for them against one of the best teams in the league.
" We will go back to the drawing board and work on the team and in our next game, am sure of the three points". OlabodeAwakan said after the game.
When asked how his team would prepare for their next game, coach of Crown Fc OladuniOyekale said " for the fact that we have beaten C.O.D will clearly send the message to our opponents".