Black Leopards ended their winless start to the Absa Premiership season and ensured Maritzburg United were still searching for their first three-pointer thanks to a battling 1-0 win at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday night.

Lesedi Kapinga scored the only goal for Lidoda Duvha three minutes from half time against a luckless home side, who once again squandered a string of chances including a penalty, before ending on the wrong end of the scoreline.

Leopards boss Lionel Soccoia was delighted with the result, his first win since taking charge of the club in the winter.

Although Leopards played second fiddle for most of the game, they battled hard throughout. In fact, they appeared to have been denied a clear-cut penalty in the opening 20 minutes when Richard Ofori went in late on Mwape Musonda, only for referee Luxulo Badi to wave play on.

Soccoia did not want to comment too much on the decision, although he admitted that the game could have gone far differently had the official seen things differently.

Maritzburg boss Eric Tinkler, meanwhile, was not at all happy with what he saw in Pietermaritzburg.

On a wet and cold late winter evening, his side created numerous openings but just failed to take them.

If it was not a save by the solid opposing goalkeeper Jonas Mendes, then it was a defender getting in the way or a shot that was marginally struck wide.

It just wouldn’t happen for the Team of Choice as Judas Moseamedi also missed a late penalty and his coach lamented their heart-breaking fortunes.

The outcome of the round four encounter means that, while Leopards now have a first win of the season and a total of four points in 12th place, United slip to third bottom with two points after the same number of games.

Tinkler understands that the season is a long one, but he feels they need to start picking up points. He also believes that more luck needs to go their way in order to turn the corner. – Report by Thahir Asmal