IT was not a good final day in the English Championship for Warriors stars as Macauley Bonne’s Charlton Athletic got relegated, while Tendayi Darikwa’s Nottingham Forest missed on the promotion play-offs.
BY HENRY MHARA
On a day that the two clubs needed to avoid relegation at all costs and get a promotion play-off ticket respectively, they both suffered heavy defeats. Bonne’s Charlton Athletic were hammered 4-0 by champions Leeds United and were relegated back to League One just after one season in the top-flight.
The Warriors striker, who had scored three goals in the last four matches for the club, started the match and was substituted with 10 minutes remaining.
Despite the sorry ending to what has been a very difficult season for Charlton on and off the pitch, it has been rather a successful season for the Warriors frontman who netted 11 goals.
Reports from England suggest that a number of teams in the Championship and the Premier League have been tracking him for a long time now and would be looking to swoop on him now that his club has been relegated.
Touted as the next Jamie Vardie, Bonne has had a stunning career so far, rising from non-league football just two years ago to play in England’s second division.
The 24-year-old born in England to Zimbabwean parents has only featured for the Warriors in friendly matches.
He is, however, expected to feature prominently for Zimbabwe in future national team assignments, having already paid allegiance to the country.
He could not play for the Warriors in competitive matches before because he didn’t have a Zimbabwean passport. Bonne has since been issued with the passport.
He had been included in the Zimbabwe team to face Algeria in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in March, but the match was postponed after the coronavirus outbreak.
His club’s season has been difficult on and off the pitch.
East Street Investments bought the club from hugely unpopular owner Roland Duchatelet in January, but their ownership has proven to be utterly disastrous and mired with
On the field, the Addicks made a good start to the campaign, going unbeaten in their first six league games following promotion from League One last season.
However, they won just once between October 20 and January 31 to drop into relegation trouble.
They were in the bottom three when the season was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic, but recorded back-to-back wins when the campaign resumed.
But after leading scorer Lyle Taylor opted not to sign a short-term extension to his deal, the Addicks could not continue that good run of form and failed to win any of their final seven matches.
Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest’s season imploded against Stoke City with a dramatic defeat that cost them a place in the Championship play-offs.
A five-game winless run heading into the last round of fixtures left Forest needing at least a draw against the Potters to guarantee they finished in the top six.
That miserable run was extended to six games in a nightmarish fashion against Stoke, with Swansea’s 4-1 win against 10-man Reading more than enough for the Welsh club to usurp Sabri Lamouchi’s side in the play-off places on goal difference.
Darikwa, who has just recovered from an injury, did not make the team. The right-back, who was also born in England to Zimbabwean parents, has featured prominently for the Warriors in recent times, including starting in all the three group matches for Zimbabwe at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.
Do you have a coronavirus story? You can email us on: email@example.com