Home Football Rovers Resurgence: Caleb Esu’s Tactical Shift Propels Team to Victory, Ending Winless Streak
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Rovers Resurgence: Caleb Esu’s Tactical Shift Propels Team to Victory, Ending Winless Streak

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Emex Henshaw

Rovers Football Club of Calabar secured their first win in 2024, defeating Coal City FC of Enugu by a single goal after enduring a winless streak of four games, only managing to secure a single point out of a possible 12.

The disappointing run saw the Cross River-based side, initially contending for promotion to the Premiership, drop from the second position in the league to fourth, distancing themselves from leaders Madiba FC.

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The downturn in form culminated in the resignation of Head Coach Samson Unanuel during the mid-season break. The seasoned tactician was replaced by former Dakaada and Go Round FC coach, Caleb Esu.

Esu introduced four alterations to the team that suffered defeat to Coal City in Enugu, including the debut of Shedrack Anthony. Notably, Rovers were missing their first-choice goalkeeper, Clinton Ezekiel, who was away on national team duties with the Under 20s.

After an uneventful first 45 minutes where both sides struggled to create chances, Rovers took the initiative by surprisingly enforcing three changes early on. Utibe Archibong, absent from the Rovers side in the first part of the league, continued from where he left off last season. He scored the winning goal by glancing in a header from a corner delivered by Asuquo Inyang in the 58th minute.

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The goal injected energy into the game, and Rovers relentlessly searched for a second goal, although Amos Okoro missed several chances. The victory positions Rovers in 7th place with 17 points, now just 4 points behind Dakkada FC and 11 points behind group leaders Madiba, who seem destined for the playoffs.

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