The boys put up a brave fight despite being reduced to ten men to hold Kakamega Homboyz to a barren draw at the Bukhungu Stadium in a hotly contested match that saw the hosts push us to the limit.
Mathare United head coach Francis Kimanzi kept faith in the squad that produced a similar result against Bandari last time out as he looked to snap a five match winless run yet his side emerged second best and were lucky to claim a point.
Ali Bai had the first real chance of the game as the hosts threatened to take the lead early on but his fierce shot was blocked heroically by Johnstone Omurwa. Omurwa had to make another block moments later denying Allan Wanga who had beaten him to an aerial ball.
The hard working Omurwa was at hand to stop Noah Wafula with a timely tackle after the winger had skittered past three white shirts in a brilliant solo run down the right.
Four minutes after the quarter hour mark, Homeboyz almost got the opener they truly deserved. Bai read a back pass from Samuel Olwande to intercept with a toe poked effort but Robert Mboya came off his line to save. The rebound fell kindly to Wanga but Mboya was quick to react and save at his feet.
Mboya was called to action by Wanga but he did well to parry his fierce 20 yard drive. At the half hour mark, Wanga missed a golden chance to set his side on the lead when his lobbed effort went wide off target after spotting Mboya off his line.
The tale of missed chances continued as Homeboyz failed to make their dominance count. It was Wanga who was culpable. First, a brilliant passing move involving Moses Mudavadi and Bai culminated in Wanga sending a curler towards goal that didn't trouble Mboya.
Then Mauda found Wanga with a searching cross inside the box. The forward took it nicely on his chest but his half volley went narrowly wide.
If that had soured Mike Mururi’s mood heading to the breather then what transpired shortly after the restart was worse. Wafula, a constant menace on the right, raced past David Owino before sending a low cross into the area.
Mboya failed to gather cleanly and presented Wanga the opportunity to prod from close range. However Owino made a goal line clearance to the dismay of the entire Homeboyz bench that went up in protest.
Eston Esiye powered a freekick from range but his curling effort was kept out by a full stretch Mboya. A goal mouth melee ensued in the Mathare box as the clock ticked towards the hour mark but still they survived.
Bai saw his shot from the edge of the box blocked by Olwande. The ball fell to Wanga whose effort was also blocked by Owino. Wafula had the last bite at the cherry but he was denied by Mboya from close range.
Kimanzi sought attacking inspiration from Ronald Reagan who replaced Chris Ochieng’ yet the storm never abated. Omurwa took a heavy first touch from an innocuous looking ball allowing Wanga to steal possession. He slid the ball to Bai whose effort was kept out by an alert Mboya.
Reagan sees red
A bad afternoon for Mathare turned worse when they were reduced to ten men after Reagan was given a straight red for a malicious tackle on James Situma in the 88th minute. Substitute Hassan Kiyoyo almost gave Homeboyz the winner deep in injury time when he latched on to a long ball from Ouko but his first touch let him down and the ball rolled out of play.
The point leaves us at third place with 27 points, three behind leaders Gor Mahia who play Sofapaka on Sunday.
Starting XI: 1. Robert Mboya (GK) 16. David Owino 20. Martin Ongori 25. Samuel Olwande 19. Johnstone Omurwa 5. Francis Omondi 4. Edward Seda (87’ 24. Klinsman Omulanga) 29. Chrispin Oduor 11. Cliff Nyakeya 9. Chris Ochieng’ (72’ 15. Ronald Reagan) 21. Clifford Alwanga (90+4’22. Roy Okal)
Unused subs: 30. Job Ochieng’ (GK) 28. Gilbert Osonga 8. Alphonce Ndonye 13.John Mwangi