Hibernians registered a third consecutive win as they defeated Hamrun Spartans 2-1 at the Centenary Stadium on Sunday. A win which puts the Paolites back in third place with Valletta.
For the Spartans, this was the second defeat in four matches – four matches from which they collected just two points in draws.
Hamrun had three changes as Jorge Nicolas Pandiani and Kevin Tulimieri replaced Massimo Ganci and Njongo Priso. For Pandiani, this was his first appearance in the Hamrun shirt. Manuel Bartolo was unavailable as he served the second game of his two-match ban. Hibs coach Stefano Sanderra, on the other hand, named an unchanged squad following the derby win over Tarxien.
The Paolites could not have a better lead as they managed to score after just twenty seconds when Jurgen Degabriele’s powerful drive hit the crossbar, beating goalkeeper Sean Cini with the ball bouncing beyond the goal line and out with Taylon Correa making sure of placing the ball at the back of the net with a header.
However the Spartans’ reaction was immediate as they levelled matters on the 5th minute when off a cross by Triston Caruana from the left, Caetano Calil headed home from close range.
Hibs regained the lead three minutes in the second half when off a Jurgen Degabriele freekick, there was a clearance by the Hamrun defence and Joseph Mbong took the loose ball and controlled before beating Cini with a fine rising shot from outside the area.
HIBS Andrew Hogg, Dunstan Vella, Nemanja Radojevic, Joseph Mbong, Marcelo Dias, Jurgen Degabriele (90+1′ Johann Bezzina), Bjorn Kristensen, Isaac Ntow (14′ Connor Zammit), Taylon Nicolas Correa Marcolino (78′ Fernando Costa Tenorio), Andrei Agius, Tiago Adan Fonseca.
Subs not used: Rudy Briffa, Timothy Tabone Desira, Ivan Blazevic, David Xuereb.
Coach: Stefano Sanderra
Asst. Coach: Ryan Pulis
HAMRUN Sean Cini, Jorge Nicolas Pandiani (71′ Ryan Darmanin), Enrico Pepe, Triston Caruana, Sebastian Nayar, Carlos Henneberg, Matthew Gauci, Karl Micallef, Orestis Nikolopoulos, Caetano Calil, Kevin Tulimieri (80′ Bradley Schembri).
Subs not used: Lydon Moore, Russell Vella, Cain Cutajar, Darren Borg, Jeremy Busuttil.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Matthew De Gabriele
Yellow Cards: Mbong, Nayar, Dias, Radojevic, Henneberg
BOV Player of the Match: Taylon Correa