A 22nd-minute stunner from Kolawole Daniel fetched Vandrezzer FC the needed three points on matchday five of the NNL 20/21 season.
Coach Alfred Madaki made two changes to the side that faced Osun United (despite the game being canceled by the NNL body) on matchday four of the season. Pederson Ajong and Babatunde Damilare made the starting XI, replacing Christopher Lolo and Ivo Junior in this encounter.
A further look at the last official game for the Lions against Nnewi United in Anambra, sees three changes as Pederson Ajong, Babatunde Damilare and Kolawole Daniel start while Christopher Lolo, Michael Ipaye dropped to the bench alongside Okon Otop who was not selected for this game.
The first five minutes of the game saw the visitors with two chances at goal. Azeez Yusuf and Ebuka Tony were responsible for the goal attempts for Ekiti United, with both encounters involving defence maestro Ekerete Udom and goalkeeper Segun Alabi who parried one of the attempts.
In the space of three minutes, David Mark's outstanding freekick ability was in motion with the midfield sensation narrowly missing his target at first and a woodwork effort three minutes on, from the same area.
Fondly known as Evra, David Mark's effort paid off with a rewarding assist as Kolawole fired past goalie Makanjuola Adewale, recording the only goal of the encounter in favor of the Lions of Naija.
Captain Bello Babatunde of Ekiti United and with a freekick from the edge of the box missed the chance to level scores as his effort landed on top of the goal net.
Ekerete Udom's saving grace action brought the first half to an end as Segun Alabi's attempt at saving a ball from the opponent experienced a slip, off his hands. Udom was on alert as he made a commanding clearance in the face of stiff opposition for the ball.
Amos Okoro's best chance at goal in the second half came in the 50th minute from an impressive build-up involving Lawrence Effiong and Kolawole Daniel. The result was a goalmouth scramble with GK Makanjuola the victor at the end of it all. The effect was a slight knock on Makanjuola and later on in the game, forcing him to be replaced.
Vandrezzer FC with a 1-0 advantage pushed for more goals with Kolawole Daniel having the most attempts at goal in the last ten minutes of the encounter.
What it means
The victory sees the Lions maintain a clean sheet at home and now with eight points from four matches (2 Wins and 2 Draws) with an outstanding match away to Osun United.
Full-back David Mark displayed to perfection, his impressive freekick ability twice in three minutes, narrowly missing his target by barely four inches in the first effort and hitting the woodwork in the second effort.
Striker Kolawole Daniel played all 90 minutes, getting the only goal of the encounter and having remarkable chances at goal, an improvement from previous games.
Matchday Six beckons this weekend as Vandrezzer FC gets set to take on Rovers of Calabar.
What the Coaches said
Head Coach Ayodeji Ayeni of Ekiti United
"I feel very bad and emotional about this game. This is the game that we shouldn't lose. It could be as a result of anxiety to deliver from my players. We have to go back and check what went wrong and get it right. Madaki is a good friend of mine and my coursemate, we've known ourselves for many years. Highly tactical and disciplined Coach like myself. I know what we were going to meet here so we prepared tactically and psychologically. Though we played better in the second half, Vandrezzer carried the day just because of a loss of concentration from my goalkeeping department.
"I thank the management of this great club (VFC) and with this kind of standard they are exhibiting, they should continue the good job and not be distracted. We hope that many teams and even multinational companies in the country will take a cue and start doing the right thing at the right time".
Head Coach Alfred Madaki of VFC
"I appreciate the players for getting these points. They really put up a good performance and worked hard for this game. Ekiti United are a good side with coaches that are sound and understand the philosophy of the game and that is why you see the game is more of a tactical approach."
Madaki also bore his thoughts about last Saturday's ill-tempered game against Osun United:
"Osun United's experience is not new as I saw same two years ago as a player. I believe the verdict of the NNL will teach other clubs how to caution and educate their fans on how to conduct themselves going forward. The win-at-all-cost syndrome does not help to develop football.
My players are trying their best at scoring goals. Even in international matches, a goal means a lot. If we can't add to it then we should keep what we have.
We have seen different approaches and play but we see a lot of improvement with each matchday. Against Calabar Rovers, I am very sure we will give our best. For us at Vandrezzer, we see every away game as a home game. We don't discriminate so we play together and if we are fortunate to win, fine" - Madaki concluded.
VFC - EKITI UTD FC
Shots On 10-5
Shots Off 8-9
Vandrezzer XI and subs
Segun Alabi (GK), Godwin Ekpo, David Mark, Jamiu Suleiman, Udom Ekerette; Anietie Uko (Rasaq Noah), Pederson Ajong (C), Lawrence Effiong, Amos Okoro (Golden Udo-Inyang), Damilare Babatunde (Michael Ipaye), Daniel Kolawole
Ekiti United XI and Subs
Makanjuola Adewale (Believe Imote), Chidi Martins, Bello Babatunde (C), Adeyanju Julius, Ebuka Tony, Afeez Yusuf (Oyebadu Sunday), Emmanuel Jonathan (Pius Ojo), Adebari Kamoru (Oluwole Ishola), Onyeka Nwaiwu (Akinyemi Timothy), Olajuyin Kehinde
Vandrezzer FC...won't walk that road without you!