BERNARD, CHITSUMBA LEAD GOLDEN GLOVE RACE

Bruce Chikuni

THE RACE for the Castle Lager Premiership Golden Glove is starting to take shape after 11 rounds of action.

Geoffrey Chitsumba of Manica Diamonds and Chicken Inn’s Donovan Bernard are jointly leading this race with seven clean sheets apiece.

Manica Diamonds are calling the shots in championship marathon with 22 points from 11 games.

Chicken Inn are five points behind the Gem Boys.

Bernard is always expected to be in the Golden Glove race.

But, the same cannot be said about Chitsumba, who has battled the odds to force himself into the picture.

The Gem Boys are enjoying a remarkable turnaround, which has seen them recovering from a nervy start, which nearly got coach, Jairos Tapera fired.

Man-of-the-moment, Michael Tapera, has brought light to the party with five match winning goals.

His brilliance has overshadowed Chitsumba who has also weighed in heavily to their fine run, especially when considering they have won seven games with a goal margin this season.

Chitsumba was Tadious Baye’s understudy last season.

Chitsumba has only conceded twice in nine fixtures.

Their 1-0 win against Bikita Minerals on Sunday means Chitsumba’s defence has not been breached in their last five matches.

This also gives credibility to the efforts which are being made by the team’s goalkeepers’ coach, Themba Sibanda, who deserves equal credit.

“We are where we are because of this defence, they are doing a brilliant job to keep the team firing,” said Tapera.

“Coach Sibanda is doing exceptionally well in our goalkeeping department because it’s not easy to go for five games without conceding a goal.

“I’m very happy with the progress of Tapera and Chitsumba, they are enjoying football and it is their moment to shine.”

He added:

“I also believe Farai Banda is not getting the attention he deserves because he has been brilliant this season.

“Defending a 1-0 win is not that easy and there is no room for errors, that’s what our defenders have been doing.”

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