Akarandut Orok’s first-half strike was the difference between Dakkada FC and Akwa United at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in a Matchday 10 fixture played at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Sunday.
The tension and war of words that gulped the fixture even kickoff, gave insight to what fans expected when both sides clashed for the first time in the top flight.
The home side kept faith with most of the players that earned them a point away at Katsina United on Wednesday, with Aniekan Ekpe being the most noticeable introduction to the list.
The visitors dropped Etim Matthew, Morice Chukwu and Samuel Mathias for Etboy Akpan, Dare Ojo, and Ifeanyi Ifeanyi respectively, as coach Kennedy Boboye for a second consecutive game preferred Orok to Mfon Udoh upfront.
Orok almost justified his inclusion in the matchday squad, within four minutes, when he was sent clear by Etboy Akpan. But he could only manage a shot off target from 10 yards.
Pressure from the visitors pegged Dakkada back for most of the first quarter of an hour. Thomas Omokhudu needed to be at his best to keep out Ndifreke Effiong’s blistering 20-yard effort to keep the score barren on 16 minutes.
Boboye’s men waited no further for the breakthrough. A minute later, Akarandut Orok raced onto a cross from Etboy Akpan, before gliding past Thomas for what was the only goal of the fixture.
The first half ended with Akwa in advantage, as both sides were bent on cancelling out each other in all departments.
The visitors began the onslaught again early in the second half, to seal the game, but were denied severally by Thomas, who superbly kept out Ndifreke Effiong’s towering header 15 yards out.
Respite almost came the way of Dakkada 10 minutes from time. Akwa United goalkeeper Jean Efala had to stretch at full length to deny Moses Effiong from 12 yards, in what was a highly fierce end. Akwa United held on for their first win away from home this season.
The defeat means Dakkada FC drop to third spot, while Akwa United move to 12th place.