The story of Dwarfs' consistency
Despite the controversial loss to Amidaus, Dwarfs have been very impressive so far, as Fiifi Anaman chronicles for supersport.com.
Before Dwarfs traveled to Accra to face Liberty Professionals on match day 11, they had picked up thirteen points from a possible fifteen in their previous five games. They went on to beat Liberty, making it 16 out of 18.
The game in which they had dropped points was against a defensively disciplined Kotoko side at the Robert Mensah Stadium, where a goalless draw was played out. Dwarfs could have ended Kotoko’s unbeaten run though, but for Asiwone Fumador’s shocking 86th minute miss.
That notwithstanding, the gaffer, Professor JK Mintah, was impressed with his charges: "I think my players very well. I congratulate them and I think we shall continue to work with them and make them better."
That game was Dwarfs’ third game in a week, and the inevitable fatigue might have also contributed to the draw. “I think it’s a true reflection of the game. Playing Sunday, Wednesday and Sunday had a toll on us and you could tell the fatigue part was setting in,” he continued.
Dwarfs had gone on a record 4 consecutive wins, beating King Faisal 1-0 in Kumasi, Wa All Stars 2-0 in Wa, then league leaders Berekum Chelsea 4-1 at home and RTU 2-0 in Tamale. That meant an impressive three away wins, with a convincing home win against one of the league’s best teams so far. Top, top stuff.
Their season though didn’t hit the ground running from the start. Match day 1 saw them playing home away from home in what was their fourth game down their 8 match home ban imposed on them last season. The game, which was against Berekum giants-turned-sloths Arsenals, ended one all.
The second week saw them lose to an in-form Medeama in Tarkwa, a result which meant they had picked up just a point from a possible six.
With a match day three date with Hearts of Oak looming, Dwarfs, in any one’s books, were the overwhelming underdogs. Charles "CK" Akonnor’s side had recovered from an opening day draw with Tema Youth to thrash FA Cup holders New Edubiase by five goals to two in Accra.
The Phobians were the better team form-wise, and on paper. Dwarfs were also going to play a home game away from home once more, at the Tema Sports Stadium. Even though the Cape Coast lads had won the corresponding fixture last season, they were nowhere near a realistic chance of beating what many people thought was a resurgent Hearts of Oak team.
What ensued in Tema that afternoon, kick started their season in spectacular fashion.
They won by 3-1, condemning the Phobians to a defeat that would go on to have a domino effect, as they went on to lose another two games. When CK Akonnor was sacked by the Hearts board after just five games into the season, he knew that the loss against Dwarfs had started the downward spiral that culminated in his dismissal.
Interestingly, Dwarfs would have been less comfortable if the match had ended 3-2. Anytime they lose by that score line against Hearts, they end up getting relegated. Superstition, you might want to brand it.
They currently sit 4th on the league log, only three points behind leaders Berekum Chelsea, with six wins, three draws and three losses. Even more impressively, they have managed to score fourteen goals in their eleven matches so far, with trio John Arthur, Bright Lukman and Asiwone Fumador scoring eight goals between them.
Unlike many other teams so far this season – like Amidaus who have depended solely on Yahaya Mohamed for goals and Liberty who have failed to click when Kennedy Ashia fails to score – Dwarfs have had nine different goal scorers, which only goes to show just how rounded the side is.
They have had problems though, as they could have won three of the games they’ve drawn this season. Coach Mintah thinks it’s down to the immaturity of his side, as he echoed after the Kotoko draw: “Kotoko has more matured players than Dwarfs. We had better chances, better opportunities but again the level of maturity made a whole lot of difference.”
That perhaps is due to the youthfulness of his side, which in itself, on the contrary, is a huge plus. They have one of the youngest squads in the top flight this season, and the coach believes this could help him build a formidable side laced with the required experience in the near future. “Keeping this team for about two years, we will see a different Dwarfs.”
Despite Berekum Chelsea and Aduana Stars running the top of the table, Dwarfs are fast proving to be the 3rd force, and the relatively consistent one amongst them. Having already beaten Berekum Chelsea, they face Aduana at the dreaded Agyemang Badu Park in Dormaa on the last day of round one.
Before then though, they face a tough line of fixtures (against Amidaus and Hearts of Lions away and Ashanti Gold at home), which will surely test their grit and show if their impressive run is a fluke or otherwise.
Losing their six-game unbeaten run against a Yahaya Mohamed inspired Amidaus at home on Sunday was surprisingly against their run of form. Nonetheless, Professor Mintah’s Dwarfs boys look set to bounce back and carry on entertaining local fans with their exuberance and free flowing football.
Even with three games to end round one, it surely wouldn’t be too early to tag them as one of the most impressive sides so far.