By Steven Boadi

Head Coach, Prosper Narteh has urged his players to remain focused despite the defeat to Elmina Sharks on Monday.

The Porcupines suffered their first away defeat and their second this season in a game that was marred by controversial refereeing.

Dickson Afoakwa put us in the lead 39 minutes into the first half from a teed-up low-cross from George Mfegue, after weaving his way through a cluster of Sharks defenders to set up the winger for his first goal for the club.

The lead, however, did not last long as Ebenezer Adukwaw out-jumped our defence to nod home their equaliser four minutes after Afoakwa’s goal to end the first half on level.

Back from the recess, a 50th-minute lofted cross into the box which Sherif Mohammed blocked with his belly was judged to be a penalty by referee Abdulai Ibrahim.

Danlad Ibrahim saved the resulting kick, but the referees called for it to be retaken, and a protest from the players resulted in Imoro Ibrahim being shown a red card three minutes before the second kick was converted.

For the next 42 minutes preceding the closure of the game, the Porcupines maintained their dominance of the game despite their numerical disadvantage but rued a last gasp opportunity to grab a point.

Justice Blay, who was making his second debut for the club following his permanent signing in January, won a penalty for us after his goalbound shot was blocked by a Sharks defender’s arm.

Frank Etouga, who has been in superb form, stepped up for the kick but was denied by the Sharks goalkeeper.

In a short meeting with the players on Tuesday before the team’s trip back to Kumasi, Prosper Narteh praised the players for their relentless display despite the frustrations.

He also urged them to remain focused, bearing in mind that the next 19 games, which starts with Saturday’s matchday 17 clash with Accra Lions, would be more challenging.

“Congratulations guys for your resilience despite everything that happened,” he said.

“You guys did well yesterday. Despite being a man down, you still showed character, you showed resilience and you showed that you are the Porcupine Warriors.”

“These things would be happening but let’s stay together as always and as I keep saying, we should expect some of these things in the second round. However, let us be tough mentally and be physically ready.”

He continued: “We should not get worried. Let us get the three points on Saturday. Though we wanted to get a seven-point lead which unfortunately did not happen, we are still on track.”

“Remember, great teams, do not lose twice on the row. We have trust in you and we are confident that you would bounce back,”
he stressed.

“Our supporters still believe in us and are still behind us so let us not lose focus and bounce back on Saturday.”

We are still top of the table with 33 points and a game in hand against our eternal rivals, Hearts of Oak.

Next on the fixture board is a meeting with debutant, Accra Lions on Saturday afternoon.

February 8, 2022