Ahmed Ahmad continued with his good run of form as he came off the bench to score a fantastic freekick late on and secure a point on the road against Bandari on Saturday.
William Wadri had handed the hosts the lead in the first half through a controversial penalty in the 33rd minute.
Head coach Francis Kimanzi had made five changes to the first eleven that settled for a one all draw with Vihiga United with David Okello getting his debut while the quartet of George Owino, Francis Omondi, Chrispin Oduor and Chris Ochieng’ returning.
However he faced an early setback as Mike Simiyu was withdrawn in the 8th minute after a suffering a cut on his left hand, his place being taken up by David Owino.
Okello showed his class in the early exchanges as he came off his line to deny Yema Mwana in a one on one situation after the Congolese had beaten the offside trap.
Both sides struggled to settle into a rhythm with the wet and slippery Mbaraki surface proving difficult to master. The messy affair sparked in the 33rd minute albeit through a suspect penalty call.
Hassan Abdallah went down in the box to a soft challenge from Francis Omondi and the referee awarded the Dockers a penalty. Wadri picked his spot calmly tucking it away into the bottom right beyond a full stretch Okello.
Four minutes to the break, Mathare United almost drew level. Martin Ongori, on his trademark overlap on the right, found Clifford Alwanga whose diving header was blocked by Felly Mulumba.
The ball fell kindly for Cliff Nyakeya who rode two challenges before firing a low drive that beat Faruk Shikalo but Bernard Odhiambo cleared off the line heroically with a diving header.
A slight downpour early in the second half slowed down the game with passes rarely finding their men and players tackling late.
Kimanzi made two changes bringing in the midfield duo of Ahmed Ahmad and Alphonce Ndonye as he stepped up his pursuit for the equalizer. Alwanga played through Chris Ochieng’ with a clever through ball but the latter contrived to shoot straight at Shikalo.
On the other end, Abdalla timed his run perfectly to beat the offside trap but Okello raced off his line to narrow his angle and the youngster lobbed the ball way off target.
Ahmed should have made his inclusion count shortly afterwards when a brilliant passing move culminated in Ochieng’ teeing him up for a shot with a chested nudge but he fluffed his lines.
Ahmed draws level
With only four minutes left on the clock, he made a statement. From 18 yards out, he beat Shikalo with a beautifully curled effort that kissed the bottom left corner on its way in to send the Mathare United bench into a frenzy.
A nervy ending saw Ahmed sky his volley from close range as the visitors piled pressure.
Man of the match: Samuel Olwande
The draw leaves us at third place with 34 points.
Starting XI: 18. David Okello (GK) 3. Mike Simiyu (8’ 16. David Owino) 20. Martin Ongori 6. George Owino (C) 25. Samuel Olwande (C) 22. Roy Okal (69’ 10.Ahmed Ahmad) 5. Francis Omondi 29. Chrispin Oduor 11. Cliff Nyakeya 9. Chris Ochieng’ (75’ 8. Alphonce Ndonye) 21. Clifford Alwanga
Unused Subs: 30. Job Ochieng’ (GK) 23. Lennox Ogutu 28. James Situma 15.Ronald Reagan