Francis Manoah came off the bench to net the lone goal that aided Kariobangi Sharks beat Western Stima 1-0, in a Kenya Premier League (KPL) match staged at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos as Sony Sugar ran out 2 - 1 winners over Zoo FC in Awendo and Muhoroni Youth blanked Thika United 2 - 0 in Muhoroni all on Wednesday 23 August.
Sharks, the hosts, headed to the game winless in two league games and set out early enough to change this with moments of pressure on the visitors with Paul Kamau proving a constant thorn with his dashing runs on the right wing and crosses though these didn't bear much fruit as Stima defence stood firm.
Stima had a rare foray forward that also bore their first attempt through a Kevin Okoth shot but that veered off target.
Sharks the dominant of the two sides, launched another attack which ended in Mathew Odongo's low cross cum shot that called for Vincent Omumbo's timely goal line clearance. Minutes later, Odongo was at it again with a good ball in but Ebrima Saneh headed the cross wide.
As the game progressed and both sides settled, it was a balanced affair before Stima midfielder Bernard Ondiek sent in a thunderbolt that missed the top left corner by a whisker. The power men then won a foul in a prime position, but Brian Marita's delivery sailed over the bar.
Masud Juma then nodded in what looked like Sharks' opener, but was flagged offside, marking the end of a goalless first half.
The second half saw a series of attacks from both sides, but none of them were fruitful. The game changing act came when Sharks coach William Muluya sent in Francis Manoah in place of Mathew Odongo, and he went on to hand Sharks the lead in the 77th minute after stumbling onto a fortuitous ball in the area.
Stima kept pushing for a share of spoils, but it was too late to salvage a point from the match and it could have been worse as Masoud had a last chance to put his name in the score sheet after he was brought down on the edge of the box, but his resultant free-kick bounced off the wall.
Sugar belt wins
Meanwhile, goals from Alfred Onyango in the 43rd minute and Amos Asembeka in the 84th minute limited Mike Madoya's 79th minute strike to a mere consolation as Sony Sugar beat Zoo FC 2 - 1 at the Awendo Green Stadium, subjecting the KPL newboys to their third straight winless outing.
At the Muhoroni Stadium, Hassan Kikoyo scored in the 27th minute and Daniel Otieno put the gloss on it as hosts Muhoroni Youth saw off Thika United 2 - 0 to not only bag a first win in five matches but also rise from the bottom of the log.
In Mumias, Ali Bai scored the lone goal to help Kakamega Homeboyz bveat his former team, Bandari FC 1 - 0. The game had a dramatic ending as Bandari assistant coach George Owoko was sent to the stands before skipper Wilson Oburu was booked for the second time in the game for handling the ball outside the box,which saw defender Felly Mulumba slot in as the keeper with Bandari done with their substitutions.
Homeboyz rose to seventh place on 30 points from 20 matches after the win while Bandari ceded a place to settle at eighth on the log with 29 points.