A goal by Atusaye Nyondo in the first half was enough to earn 10-man AmaTuks a hard fought 1-0 victory against Maritzburg United at the Tuks stadium.
The game started off well for AmaTuks. Mnyamane, Mosadi, Nyondo and Massa have become a formidable "front 4" for Sammy and Sly. The combination was at it when Massa fashioned a chance for Nyondo in the 4th minute.
AmaTuks were on the scoresheet in the 7th minute when Nyondo tapped the ball into the net from a Kekana low cross in the box.
Nyondo had a chance to further AmaTuk's lead when he tried to place the ball into the net but Virgil Vries was on hand to make the save.
Mohammed Anas out-muscled Tebogo Monyai to create space for himself to take a shot but his effort sailed wide of the goal in the 20th minute.
AmaTuks were dealt a major blow in the 27th minute when Vuyisile Ntombayithethi picked up his second yellow card and was given his marching orders. Ntombayithethi who is deemed the bad boy of the Absa premiership has now got his second red card of the season and will miss AmaTuks' next 3 matches.
No sooner had Ntobayithethi left the pitch did AmaTuks have to make a change. Nyondo who had blurred vision had to be replaced. The replacement had an air of luck about it saw Ronald Ketjijere, a defensive midfielder come on for the striker. The subtitution would set the tone for the rest of the match.
AmaTuks were clearly rattled by the red card to Ntombayithethi. The new formation saw Massa playing upfront on his own and the rest of the red shirts holding down the fort. The teams went in with amaTuks holding on to the slender lead.
Vilakazi nearly equalised for the people's team when he headed wide from close range in the 53rd minute.
The introduction of the attacking duo of former AmaTuk's player Thokozani Sekotlong and Terrence Mandaza piled more pressure onto AmaTuks. Thokozani Sekotlong justified his entry into the match when he nearly scored with a header from close range.
AmaTuks continued to absorb the Maritzburg pressure and as the game wore on and legs tired Maritzburg looked more likely to equalise. Washington Arubi pulled off a number of saves towards the end of the match. The stand out save came in stoppage time to deny Mondli Cele the equaliser.
Post the match Sammy troughton had only high praise for his charges. "The lads showed their committment to the team and the fighting spirit. We could have gone down in this match but Washington Arubi made some crucial saves. We will celebrate the win today but we have to get over it quckly and focus on the midweek game against Platinum stars"
The win moved AmaTuks up to 7th on the ABSA Premiership log with 29 points futher away from the dreaded relagation zone and into the prestige of the top 8.