Arrows secure valuable three points with Highlands win

A goal in each half was enough to see Golden Arrows defeat Highlands Park 2-1 at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Saturday to lift themselves out of the relegation zone.

The Backheel Boys started brightly with Divine Lunga doing well to fire a cross into the box from the corner, forcing Highlands to make the clearance.

A couple of minutes later Wayde Jooste got into position and fired a shot wide, before another great cross went flying in as Highlands found themselves under all sorts of pressure.

After spending the first few minutes on the defensive, the Lions started to enjoy a bit more possession. They earned a freekick in a promising position on 18 minutes, and the resulting effort looked threatening until it flew just over the bar.

Arrows were soon back on the offensive, however, and they were rewarded with the lead midway through the first half.

Lunga was the man who started the move with an attacking throw-in before the ball was played back and out to Danny Venter, who fired a right-footed shot from the centre of the box into the bottom right corner to make it 1-0.

Arrows nearly had a second 10 minutes before the break as Siphamandla Sabelo found himself with a bit of space to turn and shoot, but his effort went just over.

As the first half wore down, Highlands had a good spell of pressure that would have given them hope of forcing a different result in the second half.

And indeed it was the Lions who came out strongly after the break to apply some concerted pressure on the Arrows goal and force them into a lot more defensive work.

The home side proved equal to the challenge, however, and managed to see off the danger, leading to a bit of a lull in play midway through the half as the tempo dropped.

But Arrows fans were soon in full voice again as they picked up their second goal of the afternoon with 18 minutes to play.

After a turn over at the back, the ball fell to Knox Mutizwa, and he bided his time before sending in the cross for Lerato Lamola, who made a solid connection to fire the ball home and double Arrows' lead.

Victory seemed secure but Highlands would find themselves back in the match just five minutes later, pulling one back after a free kick was played in over the wall to the near post where a waiting Ryan Rae slotted it home.

But despite a few nervy moments at the back for the hosts, Arrows managed to protect their lead and secure all three points to break free of the drop zone into 14th place.