It is afternoons like this one that define a team on the rise. Once Mathare United took the lead they did not relent. It was another defensive master class in the end partially aided by a brilliant display from Robert Mboya in goal.
The pre-match talk was hinged around another draw with thirteen matches between these two sides having ended at level pegging but it was the hosts who stepped up to pick only their third win in this fixture since 2009.
It was Cliff Nyakeya who got the all-important goal at the brink of half time to help his side to a hard fought 1-0 win. A bright start from the hosts saw Cliff Nyakeya send a low cross into the area but John Mwangi was appended by Kelvin Wesonga as he looked to connect.
Chrispin Oduor set Mwangi feinting towards the left channel in the next foray upfront. The youngster hared past John Kuol but his cross arrived just behind Nyakeya who made a desperate attempt to score sending his shot well wide.
Moments later John Waw came off his line to make a timely interception and deny Clifford Alwanga from scoring after he had been put through by Nyakeya. The game then crumbled into a messy affair thereafter and when it came to life Chemelil Sugar almost went ahead against the run of play just after the half hour mark.
Maxwell Onyango played a quick give and go with Benedict Mwamlangara, stepped into the box and sent a curler towards goal but it was easily picked by an alert Mboya.
As the half time break approached, the pattern of the early exchanges resumed with Mathare United assuming the ascendancy. A sweeping team move saw Mwangi break free on the left before finding Alwanga with a cutback at the edge of the box.
Alwanga set Nyakeya through on goal with a precise pass but the winger took a touch too many allowing Waw to save from point blank range. Alwanga gathered the rebound but his cross was booted to safety by Benjamin Oketch.
The Slum Boys upped the ante and Mwangi thought he had opened the scoring after scurrying past Wesonga but his shot whistled inches wide of Waw’s near post. In the midst of their dominance, Mathare United got the breakthrough that they truly deserved.
Francis Omondi worked the ball to the outside right where an overlapping Martin Ongori had made space for himself. His cross was the most teasing of the first half and the connection from Nyakeya was equally good having sneaked between Kuol and Oketch to slot home.
Chemelil Sugar sought attacking inspiration from Philbat Ochieng and Felix Oluoch at the restart but it was Wesonga who got the best chance. In his trademark overlaps upfront, he rode two challenges from Olwande and Mwangi but his shot was brilliantly kept out by a full stretch Mboya.
A nervy ending saw Nyakeya fail to double his tally at the death after brilliant combination play with Oduor while Mboya pulled off a brilliant double save on the other end to preserve the hosts’ lead.
The win leaves Mathare United at the top of the league standings with 17 points albeit provisionally pending other Round 8 results.
Starting XI: 1. Robert Mboya (GK) 25. Samuel Olwande 20.Martin Ongori 6. George Owino (C) 19. Johnstone Omurwa 5. Francis Omondi 4. Edward Seda 29. Chrispin Oduor 11. Cliff Nyakeya 13. John Mwangi 21. Clifford Alwanga
Subs: 30. Job Ochieng’ (GK) 28. Gilbert Osonga 22. Roy Okal 27. Tyson Otieno 2. Daniel Mwaura 15.Ronald Reagan 17.Elijah Mwanzia