Nyasa Big Bullets overcame Civil Service United with a 1-0 victory yesterday at Civo Stadium to go top on the TNM Super League log table.
Substitute Babatunde Adepoju, who replaced Lanjesi Nkhoma in the 46th minute, scored the only goal of the match to the relief of Bullets technical panel and the fans.
However, the visitors’ goalkeeper Rabson Chiyenda was shown the red card by Easter Zimba for time wasting in added time.
Bullets have 23 points, one above second-placed Blue Eagles while Mighty Tigers, who beat TN Stars 1-0 in another match, are third with 15 points.
After the final whistle, there was a fracas as Civo officials confronted match officials in protests over officiation. This attracted fans from the terraces to flood the pitch.
Despite the drama, action on the pitch flowed as the teams attacked each other.
Immediately after recess, Bullets made a double substitution, bringing in Babatunde for Nkhoma and Yankho Singo replaced Henry Kabichi.
The impact was immediate as Bullets took the lead three minutes later.
Chimwemwe Idana miscued a cross which found an on-rushing Babatunde who slotted the ball past Kakhobwe.
Chikaiko Batison had an opportunity to equalise for his club in the 53rd minute but unmarked in the box, he shot wide.
Bullets made more changes in the 67th minute, introducing MacFallen Mgwira and Mphatso Magaleta were for Mwaungulu and Idana.
Civo too introduced Binwell Katinji, Luke Chima and Dan Kumwenda who placed Patrick Phiri, Moses Banda and Innocent Tanganyika.
Substitute Katinji nearly made an impact in the 77th minute, but his powerful shot was saved by Chiyenda
Bullets coach Kalisto Pasuwa was relieved with the result.
“It was a very tough game indeed, but we managed to scrape through. The pitch surface was bad and disturbed our play. But I am happy with the three points,” he said.
Civil Service United coach Franco Ndawa described the officiation as pathetic.
He said: “We had a good game and played well and we didn’t deserve to lose. I believe we had a good call for two penalties, but we were denied by the officiating team. favoured Bullets. This should not be happening in football.”
In other match, Silver Strikers lost ground at home after drawing 1-1 against Karonga United.