A hat-trick from Mamelodi Sundowns loanee Richard Henyekane was enough for Free State Stars to beat Bidvest Wits 3-1 in an Absa Premiership match at Bidvest Stadium on SaturdayThe home side nearly broke the deadlock very early in the third minute. Wits striker Calvin Kadi was just unfortunate when his effort from inside the box went narrowly over the bar.
Seven minutes later, Stars winger Luyolo Nomandela played in a low cross from the left. However, Wits goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs went out bravely at the feet of Stars striker Richard Henyekane to clear the dangerous cross.
Another dangerous cross was played into the box but this time it was Wits midfielder Siyabonga Nhlapo from the right in the 16th minute. His captain Sibusiso Vilakazi did well to bring down the ball inside the Stars box but his attempt flew over the bar.
Wits midfielder Jabulani Shogwe's thunderous strike from 30 yards was deflected wide by Free State Stars defender Daniel Cardoso in the 29th minute. The resultant corner-kick was parried away by Stars keeper Tshepo Motsoeneng.
The away team broke the deadlock in the 37th minute. Stars duo Henyekane and Nomandela combined brilliantly in the left, then Henyekane ran inside the box with ball and beat Wits keeper Josephs with a low shot which hit the upright into the back of the net.
Stars held on to the lead until the referee blew the whistle for half-time. Coach Kinnah Phiri's men looked set to end Wits' unbeaten run at home.
Stars keeper Motsoeneng was called into action in the 46th minute. The 35-year old shot-stopper brilliantly parried away Wits striker Chapman's attempt from close range.
Nomandela and Henyekane combined brilliantly again in the 70th minute to make it 2-0 to Stars. Nomandela ran onto a through pass before laying a pass for Henyekane to tap into the back of the net with Wits keeper Josephs rooted to the ground.
Wits forward Papy Fatty nearly pulled one back for the Students five minutes later. He was just unfortunate as his low drive from 25 yards was parried wide by Stars substitute keeper Ayanda Mtshali.
Mtshali was called into action again five minutes before injury time. This time it was Wits midfielder Shongwe with a well taken free-kick from 30 yards out but Mtshali was well positioned to parry the shot away from his area.
Man of the Match Henyekane grabbed his hat-trick in the 88th minute. The 30-year old finished off a cross from defender Thato Tlhone with keeper Josephs well beaten.
Wits substitute Robin Ngalandi pulled one back a minute later. Ngaladi's right foot finish inside the box beat keeper Mtshali hands down to make it 3-1.