Hearts stroll to vital win against AshGold to cut Kotoko lead to eight points
By Akyereko Frimpong Manson
Follow Akyereko on Twitter: @Akyereko
Hearts coasted to a narrow 2-1 win over Ashantigold in the First Capital Plus Premier League to tighten their grip on second spot after Kotoko lost at home to Heart of Lions in a highly entertaining mid-week action.
Youngster Gerald Wellington opened scoring eight minutes after the break for Hearts before Paul Acquah sealed his sealed the win for the Phobians though Emmanuel Osei pulled a goal back from a spot kick.
Mohammed Polo handed starting places injury returnees Winful Cobbinah and Nuru Suley while Selasi Adjei made who made a quick return from injury was also given the chance to impress.
Bashir Hayford fielded 2013 Ghana U20 captain Lawrence Lartey in defense while Louis Agyemang – playing against his former side, partnered former Premier League Golden Shoe winner Emmanuel Baffour in attack.
Hearts had picked just two wins from their eight games against the Miners and aimed for a positive results but the first real scoring chance of the afternoon fell to AshGold when Augustine Sefah squared for Louis Agyemang but the attacker’s effort from close range was deflected by Nuru for a corner.
Hearts gradually warmed themselves into the game and turned the heat on their visitors. Eric Kumi laid a tailor-made low-cross for Winful Cobbinah but the attacker failed to time his run well and squished the ball wide.
Both sides created few chances and there was little events to report on until the 30th minute when Selasi Adjei crashed into AshGold keeper Nana Bonsu and had to be replaced by Robert Dabuo and later rushed to hospital.
AshGold nearly took the lead just before the break when Joseph Ato-Bissah applied a wonderful header to an Augustine Sefah cross from the right. But Philemon McCarthy pulled a world-class stop to deny them.
Ten minutes after the break, Hearts took the lead. Youngster, Odupong Wellington playing his maiden first team game for the season, artistically shot the Phobians in front.
Big it was a work well done by Winful Cobbinah.
The former VfL Wolfsburg triallist laid a visionary through pass for Odupong and the Miners defence failed to handle him as he got the better of Lartey before darting his drive past Dabuo.
After Hearts took the lead, AshGold had chances in successions to take the lead but they wasted all the opportunities.
Paul Acquah increased the tally for Hearts with a delightful finish. Youngster Maxwell Boakye chested down an Owusu Bempah cross for Acquah to hit home for his second goal on the top flight.
But AshGold won a penalty and Emmanuel Osei fired home to halve the deficit for the Miners.