By Tony Ademodi
Goals from Paul Sampson and Godwin Obaje in the first half saw Abia Warriors grab all three points against Plateau United.
The win meant Abia Warriors would end the first round of the 2020/2021 league in the 10th position.
Abia Warriors sustained an early momentum offensively to take the lead in the 4th minute through Paul Samson as the winger benefitted from a Mustapha Jibreel assist to direct his effort inside the net leaving Plateau United goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye helpless.
Seemingly determined not to succumb to that early setback, Plateau United threw everything they had going forward, and it wasnt long before respite came thier way early in the 7th minute after defender Markson Ojobo fouled Uche Ochowechi inside the 18rd yard box, and the resultant penalty was clinically converted by Mustapha Ibrahim to draw Plateau United level.
Plateau United’s joy was shortlived as Godwin Obaje restored the lead for Abia Warriors in the 14th minute in the aftermath of Dele Ajiboye failing to deal with an aerial ball, leaving the veteran striker to poke home into an empty net.
The goal gave the Imama Amapakabo led side a regained lead, stability and vigour to occasionally push for more.
Plateau United woes was compounded after goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye was stretchered off after a self-inflicted injury from a mistimed kick,.
Adamu Abubakar replaced Ajiboye and it wasnt long the new goalkeeper was called to duty as Fatai Abdullahi’s 12 yard screamer was expertly parried to safety.
Mustapha Jibreel had the last action on goal for the half as his flick off a Kabiru Mohammed corner was brilliantly saved by Adamu Abubakar.
The visitors came out stronger in the second half and showed an early intent in the 54th minute. It was Abba Umar who had the opportunity to draw them level, but his close range shot was gallantly saved by goalkeeper Ojo Oloruneke.
Abia Warriors soon found a second half steel and almost doubled their lead in the 62nd minute when Godwin obaje headed straight on goal off a Mustapha Jibreel corner kick, but was denied by the woodwork.
Plateau United pressed on for a late equaliser with a couple of distant shots at goal.
A chance fell to Mustapha Ibrahim in the 86th minute, but his effort went wide for a goal kick, as Abia Warriors held on to thier lead to finish 10th on the NPFL log going into the mid season break.
Man of the match: Godwin Obaje (Abia Warriors)