Kaizer Chiefs were held to a 1-1 draw by a resilient Bidvest Wits side in a PSL match which was played in Soweto, Johannesburg on Wednesday night.
Coach Ernst Middendorp surprisingly named Nkosingphile Ngcobo in the starting as the 20-year-old sensation filling the void left by George Maluleka, who recently left Amakhosi for Mamelodi Sundowns.
Ngcobo started alongside Willard Katsande in midfield with the latter making his return from an injury having missed Chiefs' defeat to AmaZulu FC in March, which was the league log leaders' last competitive match.
On the other hand, coach Gavin Hunt was forced to make changes with Buhle Mkhwanazi (injury) and Sifiso Hlanti (suspension) missing following the Students' defeat to Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup clash last weekend.
They were replaced by debutant Keenan Phillips and Zitha Macheke in the starting line-up, while Brighton Mhlongo, who was criticized after making goalkeeping errors against Sundowns, was replaced by Ricardo Goss in goal.
Chiefs got off to a promising start with their leading marksman Samir Nurkovic looking lively as he placed his header wide of the target from close range, before forcing Goss into a magnificent finger-tipping save with pressure mounting on the away side's defence.
Middendorp's men were dominating aerial battles with Clever Boys missing their towering central defender Mkhwanazi and they were conceding a lot of set-pieces and corner-kicks.
Nurkovic got the goal he had been searching for when he headed home Lebogang Manyama's corner-kick to make it 1-0 to Chiefs in the 36th minute with the latter registering his ninth assist of the season which is the most in the league.
The 28-year-old Nurkovic continued to torment the visitors' defence and he had a chance to double the Glamour Boys' lead after Wits were exposed at the back, but he placed his low shot wide of the target and Hunt's men survived a scare.
The Clever Boys came close to levelling matters just before the half-time break when Cole Alexander's goal-bound shot was blocked on the goal-line by Kgotso Moleko and Chiefs were leading 1-0 at the interval.
A lively second half followed with Hunt having introduced Bienvenu Eva Nga and the Cameroonian centre forward tried to make an immediate impact, but he was brilliantly denied by Daniel Akpeyi in the Chiefs goal-posts.
The hosts were not prepared to sit back and defend their slender lead as they pushed forward in numbers and Castro burst into the box and he unleashed a low shot which was well-saved by former South Africa under-23 international Goss.
The Clever Boys upped the tempo after the hour mark as they looked to restore parity and Middendorp decided to introduce defensive-minded Njabulo Blom as the home side looked to contain Hunt's men.
Wits pushed forward in numbers, but they were left vulnerable at the back and they nearly conceded when Nurkovic's curling effort hit the crossbar with Goss well-beaten in the closing stages of the encounter.
Chiefs were then caught napping at the other end and they were punished by Alexander, who scored a late equalizing goal from close range to ensure that the match ended in a 1-1 draw on the night.
The draw saw Chiefs remain at the top of the league standings - four points above second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns, while Wits moved up to the fifth spot on the table.