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Phuthaditjhaba - Free State Stars narrowed the gap on the Premiership frontrunners, cementing themselves in fourth position in the standings with a 1-0 win over fellow high-flyers Maritzburg United at Charles Mopeli Stadium on Wednesday.
Dove Wome struck late in the second half to hand Stars their eighth victory in 19 league matches this season.
The win saw them draw six points clear of Maritzburg, though they still had some work on their hands to catch the top three sides in the race - Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Platinum Stars.
United seemed to hold the upper hand in the encounter but struggled to penetrate the home side's solid defence.
Stars' experienced midfielder, Noah Chivuta, squandered a clinical chance in the 19th minute from inside the box after receiving a brilliant cross from Danny Venter.
The hosts piled on the pressure and came close in the 35th minute via Venter, but he was denied by Maritzburg goalkeeper, and skipper, Shuaib Walters who parried the striker's powerful shot away.
Venter was again stopped in the 49th minute when he was denied by Walters.
Four minutes later Enva Wiltwer failed to give Stars the lead as he fired wide.
Wome eventually netted from a long-range free-kick in the 86th minute to seal the result.
Maritzburg, who were lying fifth ahead of the midweek fixtures, remain without a win in the league this year. - Sapa