Wits open up healthy lead in Absa Premiership

Thulani Hlatshwayo has only beaten Nigeria once in the four occasions he has faced them in Bafana Bafana colours Kabiru Abubakar/BackpagePix

Absa Premiership leaders Bidvest Wits have opened up a four-point lead at the top of the table after a 1-0 victory over Highlands Park at the Bidvest Stadium on Friday.

Thulani Hlatshwayo scored the only goal of the game in the first half to secure the win for The Clever Boys, who have now completed a third of their league fixtures this season.

They have confirmed their status as the most consistent of the early-season pacesetters in this campaign, and never looked unduly troubled against hard-working but out-gunned Highlands Park side.

Wits lead second-placed Orlando Pirates by those four points, with the latter hoping to close the gap when they host Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto Derby on Saturday afternoon.

The home side took the lead on 38 minutes when Keegan Ritchie's excellent left-footed delivery from a set-piece was headed home by Wits skipper Hlatshwayo, his second goal of the season.

The visitors started the second half the better side and after Mothobi Mvala saw his long-range effort sale just wide of the goal, Moeketsi Sekola had a good opportunity to fire on goal but his effort was weak.

Wits defender Lehlohonolo Nonyane was fortunate not to receive a red card when he produced a wild lunge on Thabo Motlafi. Referee Daniel Bennett produced a yellow but replays showed he had picked the wrong colour.

Wits were able to comfortably see out the remainder of the game, with Highlands reduced to shots from range that failed to trouble hone keeper Darren Keet