SUPERSPORT United look to have found another gem in the form of midfielder Darren Smith.
The 21-year-old Multichoice Diski Challenge product rescued a point for the out of sorts Tshwane giants in a 1-1 draw against Bloemfontein Celtic in the final Aba Premiership fixture of 2017 played at the DR Molemela Stadium on Wednesday night.
It was a big improvement on their disappointing performance last weekend where United tamely lost 3-1 away to Baroka FC.
Matsatsantsa a Pitori who were trailing 1-0 to a 15th minute goal from Victor Letsoalo and were heading for another loss until head coach Eric Tinkler gave Smith his debut in place of another youngster Teboho Mokoena in the 66th minute.
Smith headed home Aubrey Modiba’s cross with 15 minutes to go to earn United a precious point in a dream debut.
Phunya Sele Sele were looking to bounce back from their 4-1 away loss to leaders Mamelodi Sundowns last weekend.
The players were hoping to welcome coach Vaselin Jelusic return, who missed the Downs clash as he was in his native Serbia on a coaching course last week and returned on Tuesday afternoon, with a win to end the year on a high note.
Celtic finish the year with 20 points in eighth place after 14 fixtures while United end in 11th with 16 points but have played only 11 matches due to the fact they are playing catch up due to reaching the final of the Caf Confederation Cup at the end of October.
United have not won any of their last five league matches that have produced three draws and two defeats. Tinkler has a big job on his hands lifting his players who face a massive eight matches in January. But last night’s fightback will have pleased the United mentor.