Meshaki Dennis produced an effervescent performance scoring a brace and an assist for Stationery Stores as they got their season to a flying start on Match Day 1 of the 2018/2019 Nigeria National League (NNL) season on Wednesday.
Bayelsa United and Warri Wolves also recorded home wins while Mighty Jets and Dynamite FC scored impressive away victories. Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) could, however, only manage a disappointing draw at home on the opening day.
Stationery Stores playing at the Agege Township Stadium in Lagos turned on the style in an impressive 3-0 victory over visiting De Sapele Lions FC in Group B2. In truth, Tony Gbemudu’s side should have won by more but they were profligate and spurned numerous chances to fill their boots, eventually settling for a 3-0 score-line which greatly flattered the away side.
Meshaki Dennis set up Prince Yoko Ikegbu to score the opening goal for Stores in the 15th minute and four minutes before half-time, Dennis doubled the tally to give Stores a two-goal cushion going into the break. He completed his brace in the second half and could have had a hat trick but he passed up numerous opportunities to score further goals. In the other game played in the group, home side J’Atete edged 36Lions FC by a lone goal at the Otu Jeremi in Warri, Delta State.
Goals from Olufemi Ajayi and Utibe Archibong helped Akwa Starlets to a 2-1 victory over visiting Jossy FC in Uyo in Group B2’s other fixture.
Shooting Stars missed a penalty as they were held to a disappointing one all draw by Abia Comets in Group B1 at a rainy Lekan Salami Sports Complex in Ibadan. 3SC’s head coach Edith Agoye had predicted a tough encounter even though they had dispatched the same opposition 4-1 in the corresponding fixture last season and so it proved.
Abdulkareem Mumuni scored in the 20th minute to give Comets a shock lead but 3SC missed the chance to draw level five minutes later when Rasheed Ahmed missed a penalty. They, however, drew level in the 43rd minute through Fatai Gbadamosi’s delightful free kick and despite applying intense pressure on the visitors in the second half couldn’t find the breakthrough as Comets left with a share of the spoils.
In the group’s other game, Samuel Akinbinu and Sunday Owoyemi scored either side of half time to help Bayelsa United secure a 2-0 victory over Osun United at the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenogoa.
At the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta, home side Gateway FC spurned a spot-kick in their 0-0 draw with Ekiti United in Group B3 while Calabar Rovers lost by a lone goal to visiting Dynamite Force in Calabar in the group’s other game.
Jonathan Ebule and Charles Atshimine were both on target for Warri Wolves in the 2-1 defeat of Ibom Youths FC at the Warri City Stadium in Group B4. The group’s other game ended 2-0 in favour of Words of Life over Lamry FC.
The day’s biggest result was recorded at the Confluence Stadium in Lokoja where Kogi United fired five unanswered goals past newly-promoted Yarmalight FC with Osas Eghe netting a brace for the home side. Samson Timothy, Daniel Frimpong, and John Jerome were also on target for Tunde Abdulrahman’s side.
2018/2019 NNL MATCH DAY 1 RESULTS
NAF FC 2-1 EFCC
KOGI UTD 5 – 0 FC YARMALIGHT
FC ZAMFARA 1-1 JIGAWA G STARS
GREEN BERET 1-0 BIMO SC
RARARA FC 1-0 ROAD SAFETY
GIODANO 0-1 MIGHTY JETS
ADAMAWA UTD 1-0 AKLOSENDI INT’L
3SC FC 1-1 ABIA COMETS
BAYELSA 2-0 OSUN UTD
J’ATETE 1-0 36LION
STATIONERY STORES FC 3-0 DE SAPELE LIONS FC
AKWA STARLETS 2-1 JOSSY FC
ROVERS FC 0-1 DYNAMITE FC
GATEWAY 0-0 EKITI UTD
WARRI WOLVES 2-1 IBOM YOUTHS FC
WORDS OF LIFE 2-0 LAMRY FC