Lobi’s Kelly Kester speaks on Enyimba match, continental schedule
By Fisayo Dairo
It was a sweet homecoming on Wednesday for two midfielders who donned the Enyimba jersey in recent season; Kelly Kester and Dare Ojo. Both players though defensive midfielders have features that complement each other very well and were started together for the first time at Lobi Stars against their former club.
In Solomon Ogbeide’s 4-2-2-2 formation, both Kester and Ojo – who incidentally partnered each other when Enyimba last played in the CAF Champions League in 2016 – provided the steel and grit that the Lobi midfield needed to compete against the People’s Elephant.
Abdulrahman Bashir missed a couple of sitters from chances created mostly at the flanks but when Lobi became better in the second half having shut out all Enyimba attack areas, they could easily have won it with a couple of fast breaks.
“I think it was a good game, thank God we got a point. It would have been a different situation, we could have won but in the end I think with the nature of the abridged league, a point is good for us,” Kester told www.npfl.ng after the game.
Wednesday’s game was one of twelve Match Day Four games decided across the country but it was Lobi’s first match of the season on the domestic front. The Pride of Benue have been hoisting Nigeria’s flag in CAF’s flagship competition – the Champions League.
The days and weeks ahead promise to be very crucial in Lobi’s progress in all competitions as they will now have to face the rigours of playing every three to four days as fixtures pileup for them in the NPFL. Kester is not new to continental assignments having represented both Enyimba and Akwa United recently.
“I think we have a big enough squad to cope with both the Champions League and the league and we have enough quality in the team.
“You can see we made some changes today (Wednesday against Enyimba) in the team and we were still able to get a result so yeah, we can cope with it,” stated the lanky midfielder.
Lobi Stars have been prosecuting their Champions League fixtures at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium in Enugu due to works going on at the Makurdi Airport. They will however return home to the Aper Aku Stadium for Sunday’s league fixture against Kwara United.
“It’ll be like every other game. But playing for Lobi Stars at home for the first time will be very good, playing in front of our fans for the first time. I just hope and pray that their support will motivate us to win our first game at home in the league this season. I think it will be a good experience,” said Kester.
Lobi Stars will be without defender John Lazarus for the visit of Kwara United after the right back was sent off in Wednesday’s draw at Enyimba while goalkeeper Olufemi Kayode who has been in imperious form of late might be rested.