Gzira United and Balzan shared the spoils in a goalless draw at the National Stadium on Wednesday.
This was the ninth draw for the Maroons this season. A draw which puts them four points clear of fourth-placed Sliema Wanderers.
On the other hand, Balzan remain seventh, a distant nine points behind the Maroons.
Early in the first half, Effiong had a header tipped over the bar by Haber but Gzira replied with a Nikolai Muscat effort which was neutralised by Mintoff on the half-hour.
In the second half, Uros Ljubomirac missed a good chance for Balzan on 66 minutes and then it was Ricardo Calixto Correa who went close, first with a fine attempt which was turned into a corner with particular difficulty by the Gzira goalkeeper and in the dying minutes the same player entered the area before testing Haber with another good shot.
BALZAN Sean Mintoff, Aleksandar Kosoric, Nenad Sljivic, Steven Pisani (73′ Andrija Majdevac), Steven Bezzina (89′ Lydon Micallef), Paul Fenech, Alfred Effiong, Uros Ljubomirac, Ivan Bozovic, Elkin Serrano Valero, Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte.
Subs not used: Steve Sultana, Justin Grioli, Dale Camilleri, Michael Johnson, Sean Cipriott.
Coach: Jacques Scerri
Asst. Coach: Velibor Kopunovic
GZIRA Justin Haber, Nikolai Muscat, Zachary Scerri, Andrew Cohen, Juan Corbalan, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Edison Bilbao Zarate, Gianmarco Conti, Sacha Borg, Justin Junior Mengolo (69′ Myles Beerman), Haruna Garba.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Moad Lamlum, Sofian Domoraud, Roderick Briffa, Jaron Schembro, Amadou Samb.
Coach: Joseph Zerafa
Referee: Philip Farrugia
Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Darryl Agius
Yellow Cards: Zarate, Bozovic, Kosoric, Muscat
BOV Player of the Match: Nikolai Muscat