A brace from Mothobi Mvala handed Highlands Park their first win in the Absa Premiership after beating Golden Arrows 2-1 at the Makhulong Stadium on Sunday.
Highlands controlled the opening exchanges and dominated proceedings, but their decision making in the final third was poor and consequently chances on goal were few and far between.
Nonetheless, the home side pushed forward and were rewarded for their efforts with a penalty-kick in the 21st minute after Knox Mutizwa committed a foul inside the box.
Mothobi Mvala stepped up for Highlands and made no mistake from the spot to give his side the lead.
After going behind Arrows seemed to wake from their slumber and began mounting some attacks of their own. In the 32nd minute the Durban-based side pulled level when a spectacular 22-yard free-kick from Danny Venter found the corner of the net.
Arrows’ joy was short-lived, though, with Highlands re-taking the lead four minutes later after Mvala found space inside the box and produced a clinical finish to complete his brace.
Arrows took drastic action after that and made an early change with Siboniso Conco leaving the field in the 37th minute and being replaced by Danny Phiri.
The change made no difference as the half ended 2-1 in favour of the home side.
Arrows dictated pay at the start of the second half, but they struggled to break down a resilient Highlands defence.
In fact, the next decent effort on goal went the way of Highlands just after the hour mark when Lindokuhle Mbatha let fly from the edge of the box, but his shot struck the woodwork.
Arrows threw players forward in the final half hour, but they were unable to penetrate the back-four of the home side as the game ended 2-1 in Highlands’ favour.
Highlands Park 2
Mvala 24’ pen + 36’
Highlands: Kapini, Sibande, Motsepe, Mokoena, Msimango, Mvala, Mbatha, Ramoraka, Zwane (Motlafi 62’), Nyembe (Haoseb 84’), Ngebo (Shaulile 62’).
Arrows: Gumede, Lunga, Mazava, Mngwengwe, Sibisi, Molefe, Magubane (Lamola 66’), Venter, Mutizwa, Conco (Phiri 37’), Sibeko (Moreira 70’).