Teeming supporters of Kumasi Asante Kotoko left the Baba Yara Sports Stadium with smiles when their idol club beat Obuasi Ashgold 1-0 in the GT Premier League match in Kumasi on Sunday.
Kotoko who now moved to the top of the league table earned the only goal of the match in the 40th minute when Aziz Ansah headed home a free kick from Kobina Dodzie at the edge of the penalty box.
Ashgold, poised to make things difficult for Kotoko arrived late, forcing the game to start at 1550 hours under the instructions of Accra-based referee Ebenezer Ferguson.
Right from the commencement of the game, goalkeeper Fatau Dauda of Ashgold was cautioned for delay tactics in the first and 20th minutes of the game and finally attracted a yellow card in the 28th minute for time wasting.
Kotoko who were determined to win the match, launched series of incursions into the visitors goal area but the attackers could not translate the chances into goals with Aziz Ansah, George Yamoah, Nasiru Ghani and Nana Arhin Duah missing narrowly.
Opoku Agyeman of Ashgold who was a thorn in the flesh of Kotoko was held in check by Kenneth Ababio but the speedster managed to outpace his markers but missed a chance that came his way in the 25th minute while Mubarak Wakasu's powerful shot in the 37th minute sailed over the bar to the relief of the Kotoko supporters.
Kotoko counter-attacked and took the lead in the 40th minute through Aziz Ansah.
Referee Ferguson who was able to stamp his authority on the match flashed another yellow card on Alfred Arthur of Ashgold in the 42nd minute for rough play.
When the second half resumed, it was Ashgold opened fire on Kotoko with Kofi Debrah missing a chance in the 48th minute while Wakasu also threw away another chance with Kotoko's goalie, Mohammed Alhassan completely beaten.
Ashgold played it very hard to contain Kotoko's style of play and this compelled referee Ferguson to flash another yellow card on Joseph Hendricks in the 56th minute.
Ashgold exhausted their substitutions when Lamini Nasiri, Emmanuel Adu-Gyamfi and Thomas Duah came in for Ricky Essuman, Wakasu and Kofi Debrah in the 59th, 74th and 80th minutes respectively Kotoko also brought on Daniel Bomfah and John Cudjoe for Yamoah and Dodzie in the 73rd and 87th minutes.
The changes paid up for Ashgold as they seized the midfield and pinned Kotoko to their own half but the strong defence of Kotoko built around Issah Ahmed who was declared man of the match stood tall till the final whistle.