Own goal paves way for Sliema's first win

Sliema Wanderers vs Msida St. Joseph 2-0 (HT 1-0)

An own goal paved the way for Sliema Wanderers as they claimed their first three points thanks to a 2-0 win over Msida St. Joseph.

The Wanderers failed to impress during the first half but after the break, they showed better ideas, increasing the lead and going close on several occasions.

Sliema lacked Alex Muscat while Msida had three changes from their last outing as Andrew Formosa, Iro Curmi and Andrew Formosa replaced Ryan Xuereb, Neville Arpa and Lydon Micallef.

Msida had a good start with an Emiliano Lattes effort blocked by Clifford Gatt Baldacchino into a corner after just four minutes. Eight minutes later, Lattes received a through pass on the right, advanced into the area but his conclusion hit the foot of the post. On 19 minutes, the Saints went close once again with a Tyrone Farrugia header which was saved by Simon Agius aided by the crossbar.

Sliema took the lead on 32 minutes when off a cross from the left, Roderick Baldacchino’s clearance was deflected by team-mate Tyrone Farrugia with the ball ending at the back of the net.

Msida replied with a Kevin Mifsud effort from outside the area which was neutralised by Simon Agius on 38 minutes. Two minutes later, Andrew Formosa tested the Sliema custodian with a good header off a cross from the right by Emiliano Lattes.
On 62 minutes, Sliema went close with a cross from the left by Clayton Failla from which John Mintoff managed to get past Baldacchino and Farrugia to hit just wide.

The Blues doubled the score on 65 minutes when off a cross from the left by Ivan Woods, substitute John Mintoff flicked the ball home past goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo.

Two minutes later, Sliema threatened once again with a header by Henry Isaac following a cross by Mintoff and on 84 minutes, another cross by Mintoff from the right was deflected into a corner. Finally, on the 90th, Emiliano Lattes had a good conclusion from the right deflected into a corner.

MSIDA Manuel Bartolo, Stefano Grima, Roderick Baldacchino, Cedric Sciberras, Tyrone Farrugia, Kevin Mifsud, Andrew Formosa (77′ Adrian Farrugia), Zoran Levnaic, Iro Curmi (65′ Lydon Micallef), Emiliano Lattes, Karl Ebejer (90′ Luke Saliba).
Subs not used: Ludwig Fardell, Matthew Borda, Kurt Grech, Kirsten Brincat.
Coach: Mark Marlow
Asst. Coach: Keith Gouder

SLIEMA Simon Agius, Ian Azzopardi, Ryan Fenech, Mark Scerri (51′ Noel Turner), Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (63′ Henry Isaac), Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Ivan Woods, Lucian Dronca, Ian Ciantar (78′ Josef Mifsud), John Mintoff, Clayton Failla.
Subs not used: Michael Gustavo Siscoutto Lima, Luca Martinelli, Miguel Ciantar, Matthew Bartolo.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Team Manager: Rupert Perry

Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Paul Apap, Glenn Tonna
Fourth Official: Kevin Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Failla, Mintoff, Levnaic
BOV Player of the Match: Emiliano Lattes
Scorers: 32′ own goal Tyrone Farrugia
65′ John Mintoff

Hibernians FC vs Hamrun Spartans 4-2 (HT 2-1)

Champions Hibernians registered the second win in four days as they defeated Hamrun Spartans 4-2.

Hamrun welcomed back Ivan Casha but lacked Manolito Micallef. On the other hand, the Paolites once again lacked Adrian Pulis, Jean Paul Farrugia and Ben Camilleri.

Hibernians managed to take the lead on 17 minutes when a cross by Andrew Cohen from the right was blocked by a defender, Elkien Cauchi controlled before hitting past Ivan Casha.

The Paolites went close with an Edward Herrera effort on 24 minutes when served by Olegs Malasenoks.

However the Spartans equalised on 35 minutes with a great goal by Gaetan Spiteri whose rising shot from the right, after receiving a through pass by Cucciardi, hit the crossbar before the ball ended at the back of the net.

Three minutes later, a freekick by Gaetan Spiteri ended just over the bar. On 41 minutes, Lee James Agius exchanged the ball with Gaetan Spiteri but the young Hamrun midfielder ended on the ground with the Spartans appealing for a penalty.

The Paolites regained the lead two minutes from the end of the first half with Edward Herrera concluding a good move on the right flank with a low shot which beat Casha.

Eight minutes in the second half, Hibernians increased the lead when Cohen released Etienne Barbara on the left and the latter rounded a defender before beating the Hamrun custodian with an angled shot.

Hibs made it 4-1 on 59 minutes when Ivan Casha failed to intercept a pass by Cohen for Barbara and Roderick Fenech, in an attempt to anticipate Barbara, placed the ball at the back of the net for an own goal.

Jonathan Caruana also risked committing an own goal on 66 minutes as he deflected a cross from the right by Mead Mifsud but Mario Muscat saved the ball on the goal-line. Five minutes later, Malasenoks served Etienne Barbara whose shot from the edge of the area ended just wide. On 74 minutes, Barbara once again went close for the Paolites with a shot from the edge of the area following a pass by Cohen.

Hamrun reduced the gap on 75 minutes when Martin Hrubsa released Marcelo Pereira on the right and off the latter’s cross, Gaetan Spiteri deflected the ball past goalkeeper Mario Muscat.

HIBS Mario Muscat, Jonathan Caruana, Edward Herrera, Ryan Camilleri (76′ Leighton Grech), Jonathan Pearson (67′ Triston Caruana), Christian Callejas, Rumen Galabov, Elkien Cauchi (46′ Yan Cauchi), Etienne Barbara, Andrew Cohen, Olegs Malasenoks.
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Aaron Xuereb, Matthew Tabone, Kevin Cassar.
Coach: Mark Miller
Asst. Coach: Edmond Lufi

HAMRUN Ivan Casha, Timothy Fleri Soler (60′ John Debattista), Martin Hrubsa, Roderick Fenech, Neville Galea, Diego Cucciardi (78′ Christian Cacciattolo), Rupert Mangion, Lee James Agius, Gaetan Spiteri, Marcelo Pereira, Mark Barbara (65′ Mead Mifsud).
Subs not used: Andrea Cassar, Dalton Caruana, Aaron Attard, Mauro Busuttil.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
Asst. Coach: Marco Grech

Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: Philip Agius, Edward Spiteri
Fourth Official: Andre Arciola
Yellow Cards: N. Galea, L. Agius, R. Camilleri, M. Barbara, R. Mangion, M. Pereira, R. Galabov
BOV Player of the Match: Andrew Cohen
Scorers: 17′ Elkien Cauchi (Hib)
35′ Gaetan Spiteri (Ham)
43′ Edward Herrera (Hib)
53′ Etienne Barbara (Hib)
59′ own goal Roderick Fenech (Hib)
75′ Gaetan Spiteri (Ham)