Coming into this match off a backdrop of three consecutive defeats, the AllStars needed a good result off this match so as to try and get their first premier league points, and they did got off to a good start where they won a 2nd minute penalty kick after Daniel Kamau was brought down illegally in the danger area.
Dennis Sikhai stepped in to take the resulting kick, but saw his shot saved by the Western Stima custodian Ben Roberts Mandela - who had dived the right way to put a good punch to the ball. Daniel Kamau then fired the rebound high over the bar.
AllStars were at their visitors again in the 17th minute, this time round with Erastus Mwaniki seeing his weak effort well saved by the Western Stima goalie, after the AllStars forward had been played through by Teddy Siwa. Stima had their first effort at goal minutes later, where their forward was played through, but the AllStars goalie Evans Omondi was quick to come off his line just in time to intercept the pass.
AllStars continued with their onslaught on their opponent's defense, and Daniel Kamau almost gave his side the lead when he stroke a left footed shot that was saved by the goalie.
Despite their dominance in terms of possession and chance creation, the AllStars fell by a goal behind in the 21st minute, after Stima's Fred Shimonyo found the net with an easy tap-in, following a defensive mishap at the AllStars goal - where the hosts failed to clear the ball form a corner kick. Stima almost made it two-nil a couple of minutes later with two chances; first from a clear chance where their player failed to find the net and instead hit the ball wide, and then from a long shot that flew just wide.
Stima then hit another shot off a free kick that went just wide, and Siwa saw his left footed shot punched out for a corner kick, after the player was well found by Brian Mandela's long ball.
AllStars did eventually find their much sort out equalizing goal after 35th minutes of play, where Erastus Mwaniki found the net with his low shot. AllStars did create a couple of more half chances as the match was heading into the half time break.
AllStars came into the second half ready to pick up from where they left, and it was Mwaniki who had the second half's first effort at goal from a shot that was blocked by a defender. Dennis Sikhai forced the Stima goalie into a save with his powerful free kick that was punched over the bar, and minutes later it was the AllStars who were defending their own goal from a similar set piece, although this one never really threatened Omondi, the AllStars goalie.
AllStars brought in John 'Softie' Ndirangu for Brian Mandela, as the team continued to pile its pressure on their opponents. Stima never really threatened the AllStars goal, but they did give the hosts a reminder that they were also in the pitch by hitting the woodwork from a shot.
Evans Omondi was also forced into a save in the 60th minute, before the visitors also created another chance off a set piece that ended out of play after good defensive work by AllStars central defender, Bernard Odhiambo. AllStars then suffered another setback by conceding the second goal in the 69th minute through Job Omuse, after the player easily headed the ball in after being set up by a long ball.
AllStars piled pressure on the Stima defense in search of a goal, and they did miss a couple of opportunities. First, it was Softie's dangerous free kick that was punched out, then the same player called the goalie into action with a thunderous thirty-yard shot, just before the home team got their best opportunity of the second half through Erastus Mwaniki - where the forward was played through, but failed to beat the goalie from close range.
AllStars made a late double substitution by bringing on Titus Achesa and Geoffrey Maina for Michael Kamau and Teddy Siwa, and although they had their opponents on their own half during the closing stages of the encounter, the final whistle ensured that the AllStars recorded yet another league loss; their fourth in a row since the start of the campaign.
AllStars still sit bottom of the table, with no points from four matches.
The AllStars team is set to host the Western Stima FC team tomorrow afternoon (Sunday March 9th), for a Tusker Premier League match, with the team looking to grab their first league points of the season.
Sitting fourth on the league table, the team from Kakamega has collected a total of 6 points from three matches, with their most recent points having come from a 2-1 victory they recorded last weekend at the expense of Thika United. Stima has scored a total of four goals so far, and have also conceded that same number.
On the other hand, AllStars will be coming into this match licking their wounds, following a 3-0 defeat they suffered last weekend at the hands of Sofapaka FC. AllStars is sitting bottom of the 16-team log, with no points from three matches. AllStars have conceded 7 goal so far, and have not seen an opponents' net. It is this run of poor results that rung the alarm that led to the sacking of its then head coach, coach Oliver Page, as the results were just the reflection of a poor working relationship that was there between the coach and the playing unit. Coach Peter Okidi took over the head coach position on an interim basis following the exit of Page.
With this being his first league task, coach Okidi is optimistic of ending that poor run, as he says that he has full confidence in his players.
"I believe these players have all the qualities needed to take this team to its desired position on the league table. The winning spirit they possessed last year on our road to promotion is all they need to rediscover. I have faith in them and I know that they are going to give their all tomorrow, because they are also not happy with the team's recent results." the coach said.
The last time these two teams met was for a friendly match back in January 25th, where that match ended in a one-all draw. Sebastian Muchera was the scorer of AllStars' goal, with Western Stima scoring their equalizing goal through John Kiplangat's powerful strike.
The bad news for the AllStars though is that Muchera will not be available for tomorrow's match, as the player tore his hamstring during Friday's training session, thus adding his name to the list of injured players that already includes Maurice Odhiambo, Wilson Andati and Peter Ng'ang'a.
The match will be played at the Afraha Stadium, and will kick off at 1500hrs.
AllStars left back Stanlaus Akiya has recently been on a good path to recovery, as he competes to win himself back a place in the team's starting squad.
The player has recovered from a knee injury he sustained during one of the team's pre-season training sessions - an injury that had kept him out of football action for a period of about six weeks.
Akiya has so far had full training sessions for the past two weeks, and he openly admits that its a big joy to be finally back after weeks of lay off.
"I had really missed playing." the player said. "Watching my team mates train every week, and also play in the league was something I really felt that I also wanted so bad, but the injury couldn't let me. But now I am just so happy to be back"
"I feel like I have trained well for the past two weeks. This team is full of very good players, and that makes the competition for places very stiff......, so right now am putting all my concentration on trying to win back a place in the starting eleven, even though am slowly regaining my full fitness" Akiya said.
The player is yet to feature in the premier league, and his return will definitely serve as a big boost to the squad.
The AllStars senior team yesterday (Wednesday March 5th) were the winners of two friendly matches - as part of their preparations for the weekend's premier league match against Western Stima FC.
The AllStars had two different teams for the two matches, with the first match being played in the morning at the Nakuru Athletic Club grounds, and the second played in the afternoon at the Afraha Stadium.
The first match ended in a 3-2 win for the AllStars, with Kennedy Owino, Boniface Akenga and Geoffrey Maina on target against a resilient Utawala FC - a performance the AllStars interim head coach, coach Peter Okidi, was upbeat about.
"We were using these matches to see how we are going to approach Sunday's match. We wanted to see how good our attacking prowess is, as well as our defending, with more emphasis being on positive possession and chance creation." coach Okidi said.
AllStars faced National Super league side St. Joseph's FC in the afternoon match, with the match being more lively and with more intense than the first, as it was evident in the way both sides created good chances.
The first half of that match ended barren, with AllStars having recorded good goal scoring chances through Allan Kateregga, Sebastian Muchera and Titus Achesa, while their opponents also boasted of a couple of chances from their own players.
The second half would then see Muchera give his side a well deserved lead in the 48th minute, where he netted his goal after going round the St. Joseph's goalie, following a clever lob pass from Michael Kamau - a pass that set the forward through en route to his goal.
AllStars later made a couple of substitutions; first a double substitution where Erastus Mwaniki and Brian Mandela came on for Allan Kateregga and Titus Achesa respectively, and after a short while John Ndirangu was introduced for Dennis Sikhai.
The substitutions evidently strengthened the AllStars attacking third, and after a series of attacks, AllStars doubled their lead through Ndirangu. The forward was well found on the left wing by Mandela's long ball, and he set himself at goal by chesting the ball forward and bursting with pace into the opponent's box, then hit a low left-footed shot that ended into the net to make it 2-0.
AllStars did another double substitution in the final quarter of the match by bringing on Angelo Okumu for Peter Ng'ang'a, and Daniel Kamau for Muchera. The team did create more chances, but the tie was evidently beyond their opponent's reach - with the referee's final whistle serving the final notice.
"The second match was surely more intense than the first, and I liked the way the players approached this game." the coach said. He went on to add that "...the most important thing today was how the players showed the hunger to win, and that urge to get goals. We have had a three-match losing streak, so I wanted these matches to give the players back that winning mentality, and belief in themselves; something that I think they have been lacking. Some players did perform very well, but overall, I think the whole team was up to the task."
The Board of Nakuru AllStars have relieved Oliver Page from his responsibilities as head coach of the Premier League team. The decission was made yesterday, the 4th day of March 2014.
The Board feels this is the only option, as the coach and the players never managed to find common ground, which reflected in the performances of the first three games in the Premier League.
The club would like to thank Oliver Page for his services to the club, in the time that he has been with us, and we do wish him all the best in his future endeavors.
First assistant coach, Peter Okidi, will now return to the head coach position on an interim basis.
Three early first half goals from Tony Ndolo, Cliff Miheso, and Enock Agwanda ensured that the AllStars registered yet another league loss, after getting beaten by three goals to nil by Sofapaka FC, in a league match that was played on Saturday 1st match, at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.
Sofapaka took the lead in the first minute of the match, where Ndolo capitalized on a goalkeeping blunder to slot home the first goal of the match. AllStars goalie Roney Kagunzi spilled the ball from a Sofapaka cross, and Ndolo fired in the rebound. Allan Kateregga headed the ball wide off a Maurice Odhiambo's cross just a few minutes later for AllStars' first opportunity at the Sofapaka goal.
Sofapaka pounced again in the 9th minute through their danger man Cliff Miheso, after the player was played through and slotted the ball into the net with a low shot to make it 2-0.
Julius Mwnagi stroke a long shot wide off the Sofapaka goal as the AllStars were looking to penetrate through their opponents' defense, just minutes before they suffered another setback by conceding the third goal. This time round, it was Miheso who turned provider after setting up Agwanda, and the latter rose highest to net in his side's third goal in the 12th minute of the game to give Sofapaka a 3-0 lead.
John Ndirangu saw his shot go wide off the goal, and Peter Kihungi also tried his luck from a long range effort that went wide. Sofapaka also had two opportunities at the AllStars goal; first from a shot that went over the bar, and from a dangerous low cross that needed the slightest of touches, but was well missed by their forwards.
AllStars made an early double substitution in the 33rd minute by bringing on Brian Mandela and Erastus Mwaniki for Michael Kamau and Julius Mwangi respectively.
Miheso blasted the ball wide off a free kick after their played was brought down at the edge of the danger area, and the hosts saw another of their chance go wasted after their player headed the ball wide from a corner kick. Sofapaka would have made it 4-0 just before the break - after their player fired a very powerful shot following a lovely one-two move - but the AllStars goalie was way alert this time round to produce a wonderful save by putting a strong punch to the ball.
AllStars were at their hosts immediately after the half time break with a number of chances, as they looked to try and get back into the game. Allan Kateregga saw his effort go wide, just before Teddy Siwa delivered a good cross into the Sofapaka danger area only of it to be missed by the AllStars attacking players. Erastus Mwaniki also tested the opponents goal with a long shot that went wide.
AllStars had their strong penalty appeal turned down by the referee, after Mwaniki looked to have been brought down unfairly in the eighteen-yard area as he rushed to reach for the ball after being played through.
The hosts threatened the AllStars on the break with another chance that went off the target, and AllStars immediately responded with a chance of their own, though failed to convert after Mandela missed the ball from a cross.
Daniel Kamau was introduced for John Ndirangu in the 75th minute as the AllStars were looking to continue piling pressure on their opponents, and Mandela had another effort at goal almost seconds later when he cut-in from the right side of the Sofapaka box, then hit a shot that was saved by the Sofapaka goalie.
AllStars's two best efforts at goal came in the dying stages of the league tie; first from Maurice Odhiambo, who's lovely free kick from the edge of the Sofapaka box was tipped over the bar through a fingertip save form Duncan Ochieng the Sofapaka goalie, just before Mwaniki hit the woodwork with his left-footed shot, after he was set up by Dennis Sikhai's low cross.
Allan Kateregga had his shot well saved by the goalie, just before the referee brought the game to a close with his final whistle.
The loss leaves the AllStars at the bottom of the league table, with the team having failed to secure any point from three matches.
The Top Fry AllStars head coach, coach Oliver Page, has said that he expects a tough challenge from Sofapaka, as his team prepares to battle it out against the 2009 premier league champions in a league clash that is scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon at the Machakos Stadium.
The AllStars come into this match off the backdrop of a one-nil league defeat they suffered last weekend against Thika United, and the coach says that his team is ready for the task ahead.
"We played very well last weekend against Thika United - especially in the first half where we had very good goal scoring chances - but just didn't have the killer instincts to score." the coach said.
Sofapaka also come into this match off a league defeat - where they lost by a solitary goal to their visitors SoNy Sugar FC.They are currently on the 6th position on the league table after two rounds of play, where they have 3points - with one win and one loss.
Being one of the teams in the league who boast of having a high number of experienced players and who have played for the national team, Sofapaka will definitely give the AllStars a good challenge; a challenge the coach says his team is well capable of handling.
"We know it is tough playing against Sofapaka, but I am sure we can get a good result if we play like we did against Thika. We can achieve a good result if we play according to our tactics, and also make sure that we take our chances when the occasion arises."
The AllStars team will leave for Machakos tomorrow morning (Friday February 28th).
The match will be played on Saturday March 1st, and will kick off at 1400 hrs.
Top Fry AllStars B coach, coach James Angila, has said that he is pleased with the way his side is progressing well, though also admitting that they still have a long way to go, as they prepare for the new season of the Rift Valley Provincial league.
The coach said this after seeing his side hammered by seven goals to nil by their seniors, in a just concluded friendly match that was played at the Nakuru Athletic Club grounds.
The first half of the match ended with five goals from the AllStars senior team, with the goals coming from Peter Ng'ang'a, a brace from Brian Mandela, and another one from Angelo Okumu. The two second half goals were then scored by Allan Kateregga and Dennis Sikhai.
"We were using this match to gauge ourselves on what we have so far been teaching ourselves in the training sessions that we have been having since we resumed for the new season. I did take a lot of positive things from the game - positive things like how my boys played using our system, how confident they were on the ball and how they showed that they can keep possession of the ball." the coach said.
"Players like Benson Kamau and Kevin Otieno 'Obonya' who were promoted from the 'C' team impressed me. Kamau in particular was very good on and off the ball. Our midfield and the striking department looked good, but the defense looked a bit scrappy at times, but we also have to admit that we played against a very strong side and they took their chances very well." he went on to add.
The coach finished by saying,"We still have a long way to go - just as the scoreline suggests - but I am sure we will be ready in time for the league. Overall, I think we did well, we did put into practice all that we have been training on, and the confidence level is evidently climbing high."
The Top Fry AllStars team were today handed their first home defeat in a major competition; an undefeated run that stretches back form October 13th 2012, where the AllStars lost a Division One league match against Soin Flourspar.
The 3pm kick off match started well for the home side, who were looking to make amends for last weekend's league loss away to SoNy Sugar.
Erastus Mwaniki had the first chance of the match in the 7th minute, where he was played through by Maurice Odhiambo, and the player could only see his effort go just inches wide off the right hand post of the Thika goal.
AllStars were at it again just two minutes later with John Ndirangu firing a long shot wide off the crossbar. AllStars forced their visitors to their own half in the opening exchanges of the match, with the home side having more possession of the ball.
Thika did rarely threat the AllStars back four of Teddy Siwa, Bernard Odhiambo, William Odunga, and Peter Kihungi, and this made their work limit for most of the first half. Most of the ball was played in the midfield area - an area the AllStars looked to have controlled - but Thika would always cause a threat using their flanks where they had very fast wingers.
Brian Mandela should have put the AllStars ahead in the 22nd minute, but the forward missed a clear header after he was well found by Ndirangu's cross from the right wing.
Thika then retaliated with a chance of their own in the 26th minute, though Mwaniki came to AllStars' rescue when he blocked a shot for a corner kick. Thika would give away a goal scoring opportunity from the resulting corner kick by hitting the ball very long for an AllStars throw.
The visitors did test the AllStars goalie again just a few minutes before the half time break, but their forward hit his shot wide off the left post of the AllStars goal.
Thika looked much more the brighter side after the break, and their pressure on the AllStars' defense finally paid off when they broke the deadlock in the 59th minute.
Thika's Michael Olunga received a throw in from the right wing, controlled the ball and beat Peter Kihungi with his turn, before unleashing a left-footed strike from just inside the box, beating Roney the AllStars goalie to make it 1-0 for the visiting team.
The goal looked to have instilled a sense of confidence into the Thika team, as they started to keep possession as compared to the first half where they sat back letting the AllStars get to them, thus making their opponents chase the ball for longer periods while minimizing their goal threat.
AllStars substituted Peter Kihungi for Titus Achesa as they looked to boost their attack, and then brought on Angelo Ochieng for Brian Mandela. Daniel Kamau was later on brought in for Erastus Mwaniki.
AllStars did pile lots of pressure to their opponent's defense as the clock ran out on them, with the best chance having fallen on Daniel Kamau who failed to connect well with Allan Kateregga's cross.
The defeat leaves the AllStars lying in the 15th position on the 16-team log, with no points from two matches.
Top Fry AllStars will tomorrow (Saturday February 22nd) host Thika United, for a Tusker Premier League match, a match that is scheduled to kick off at 3pm at the Afraha Stadium.
AllStars will be coming into this match off the backdrop of a 3-0 defeat at the hands of SoNy Sugar FC, during the AllStars' first league match since their promotion into the top tier league. It is the worst defeat the team has ever suffered in three years, back from the time the club was reformed in 2011.
It is a defeat that was marked by a poor performance from the AllStars team, with the coach saying that much of that was due to nervousness and stage fright.
Having finished 7th on the 2013 premier league table, Thika is one of those teams that have always well been know as those which can play 'beautiful' football, and record good results at the same time. Thika has for most of the previous seasons been a tough side to play against, and has also been a team that has always produced some of the best players in the league.
Thika have shown that they are still a side to be reckoned with this season, as they played 2013 champions Tusker FC to a 1-1 draw last weekend during their league opener, with their goal having come on the 25th minute courtesy of Dennis Odhiambo.
AllStars are currently on the 15th position of the 16-teams premier league table and without a point, while Thika is 9th with one point.
This week's return to training of Maurice Odhiambo and Kennedy Owino should act as a major boost to the AllStars' team, with Stanlaus Akiya and Wilson Kuks Andati still remaining sidelined.
With both teams having not won their respective matches during the league's matchday 1, this is brewing up to be a good match of football, since both side will surely be going for nothing short than a win. Added to that is the fact that these sides have never met before.