The Slum Derby lived up to its billing as both sides displayed entertaining football and deservedly earned a share of the spoils after playing out to a one all draw at the Camp Toyoyo.
Mathare United top scorer Clifford Alwanga opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a solid header before Patilla Omotto restored parity in the 54th in similar fashion to secure a point for the hosts Kariobangi Sharks.
Both coaches made changes to their starting line up with Francis Kimanzi recalling Alwanga, Martin Ongori and John Mwangi to his starting eleven while William Muluya handed Harrison Mwendwa a stat against his former employers.
Mwangi had the first real chance of the game in the second minute when a sweeping team move culminated in Edward Seda playing him through on goal. He timed his run perfectly to stay on side but his finish went narrowly wide with only John Oyemba to beat.
Moments later he turned provider, picking the run of Cliff Nyakeya with a deft through ball but the youngster took a heavy first touch allowing Oyemba to come off his line and intervene.
Mwendwa then gave Mathare United a reminder of his former self with a brilliant solo run down the left that saw him ride a couple of challenges as he cut into the box leaving four white shirts in his wake. However his final shot rolled narrowly off target.
He should have done better two minutes to the quarter hour mark when Eric Kapaito picked him out with a cross from the right but he planted his connection into the side netting.
With both sides settled, the game needed a goal to crown the bright start and it was the in-form Alwanga who provided the breakthrough. Ongori applied plenty of whip on his early cross from the right and when it arrived in the box Alwanga showed his class to redirect the ball into the bottom left corner past the despairing dive of Oyemba.
The game crumbled into a balanced affair with either side enjoying equal spells on the ball and churning out half chances. Alwanga’s withdrawal at the restart allowed Sharks to attack with more intent and they forced a corner that bore the equalizer.
Mwendwa drew Robert Mboya off his line before firing a low cross across the face of goal. With the goal unguarded, Ongori arrived first at the back post to send the ball out for a corner.
Bolton Omwenga stepped forward and his delivery was perfectly weighted for Patillah Omotto who rose unmarked in the area to head home through the buttery fingers of Mboya.
Substitute Chris Ochieng’ almost made his introduction count in the 70th when he stung Oyemba’s palms with a fierce drive from the edge of the box but there was no white shirt to bury the rebound.
Then on the other end, Johnstone Omurwa heroically slide to block Duke Abuya’s shot after he was played through by Mwendwa. Another chance went begging for Sharks late on as Sydney Lokale contrived to prod a low cross from Eric Kipkirui wide with only Mboya to beat.
The draw leaves us at third place level on 25 points with second placed Ulinzi Stars.
Starting XI: 1. Robert Mboya (GK) 16. David Owino 20. Martin Ongori 25. Samuel Olwande 19. Johnstone Omurwa 5. Francis Omondi 4. Edward Seda 29. Chrispin Oduor (81’ 8. Alphonce Ndonye) 11. Cliff Nyakeya 13.John Mwangi 21. Clifford Alwanga (50’ 9. Chris Ochieng’)
Unused Subs: 30. Job Ochieng’ (GK) 28. Gilbert Osonga 22. Roy Okal 7. Samuel Ndung’u 24. Klinsman Omulanga