Moses Effiong netted the first hat-trick of his professional career, as Dakkada inflicted a third consecutive defeat on Adamawa United to climb into fourth place in the Nigeria Professional Football League.
Caleb Esu’s side were looking to end a three-game winless streak, and they made a dream start — taking the lead in the first minute.
Eka Unegbe levelled things up 11 minutes later, but Effiong reclaimed his side’s lead in the 25th minute.
Femi Ajayi then struck early in the second half and Effiong got his third of the evening seven minutes after the hour mark to give the Uyo club a well-deserved 4-1 win at the Nest of Champions.
With Harisson Ibukun, Isaac George and Ifegwu Ojukwu all not available for the clash due to suspensions, Esu handed starting roles to Alalibo Somiari, Spencer Bassey and Eso Archibong. Arinze Obuka kept his place as captain Aniekan Ekpe failed to recover from the head injury he sustained against Akwa United.
Visiting team’s head coach Ibrahim Barike made five changes to the side that lost 2-0 at home to Rivers United.
Adamawa United were exposed time and again, the scale of their defeat coming as no surprise given they had lost 4-0 to Dakkada city rivals Akwa United last month.
The game had barely begun when Effiong put the hosts in front. Goalkeeper Ike Obilo missed the ball and clashed with Ajayi after coming off his goal line to claim a lofted pass. The northeast side failed to properly clear the danger, and the ball fell to Effiong, who swept into the bottom corner. Adamawa United players protested, claiming Obilo was fouled in the build-up, but the goal stood.
The lead lasted for only 11 minutes, as Eka Unegbe took advantage of a mistake from Spencer Bassey to score his first goal of the season, finding the far post after Bassey gave away the ball.
Effiong then latched onto a pass, burst into the area before sending the ball into the six-metre box. The ball evaded everyone and rolled into the bottom corner.
Archibong should have increased the lead when he was put through in the 34th minute. Ajayi held off a challenge and then sent the forward clear. The No.8 hesitated and the Adamawa backline recovered to defend.
Shortly after the break, the hosts nearly surrendered their lead again, with Somiari gifting Agbanyi Vershima a rare chance. The forward fired wide of the far post.
Moments later, the Damaturu club had another opportunity to equalize. Ukeme Umoh handled the ball close to the area, and was deservedly booked by the referee. Ojebisi Adewale sent the resulting freekick over the bar.
Ajayi made it 3-1 in the 56th minute. Effiong sprinted onto a pass and sent the ball to Bassey at the far side. The former First Bank player found Ajayi, who nodded in to increase his league tally to four for the season.
Effiong put the game beyond the visiting team with 25 minutes of normal time left to play. Latching onto a through ball, the wide man rifled home from a tight angle to complete his hat-trick and increase his goals tally to four.
The result leaves Adamawa United second from bottom.
13 Thomas Omokhudu, 25 Unwana Asuquo, 3 Imo Obot, 28 Lateef Babalola, 29 Ukeme Umoh, 21 Alaibo Somiari, 33 Spencer Bassey
8 Eso Archibong, 35 Femi Ajayi, 16 Arinze Obuka, 11 Moses Effiong
1 Vincent Edafe, 4 Osimaga Duke, 2 Peter Etukhube, 40 Kokoete Ibiok, 26 Solomon Gozie, 18 Godwin Inamoto, 24 Samuel Akpan
ADAMAWA UTD XI
40 Ike Obilo, 26 Mbau Aminu, 3 Amos James, 44 Ojebisi Adewale, 4 Lukman Surajo, 5 Nanushi Daniel, 11 Isa Garba, 13 Edward Elam, 17 Agbanyi Vershima, 32 Idris Abubakar, 27 Eka Unegbe
1 Ahijo Mamud, 15 Emmanuel Ogbuagu, 30 Jibrin Abubakar, 24 Luran Javan, 18 Yahaya Ismail, 2 Khalid Jalo, 29 Japhet Daniel
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