Floriana sink B'Kara with stoppage-time goal

Hamrun Spartans vs Msida St. Joseph 1-0 (HT 1-0)

Hamrun Spartans claimed their first three points as they defeated Msida St. Joseph 1-0 in a clash between the two teams who were re-instated in the BOV Premier League following the demotion of Vittoriosa Stars and Marsaxlokk.

The Spartans join Dingli on three points, one point ahead of the Saints, who now lie at the bottom of the table.

Steve D’Amato welcomed back Manolito Micallef and Jonathan Holland while Mark Anthony Bonnici made his first appearance this season. Marcelo Pereira was ruled out through suspension. Msida, on the other hand, lacked Neville Arpa.

Hamrun took the lead on 12 minutes when off a Rupert Mangion freekick from the left, Roderick Fenech rose high to head home past goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo.

The Spartans went close once again on 21 minutes with a freekick by Rupert Mangion which was parried by Bartolo. Four minutes later, Mangion served Gaetan Spiteri inside the area and the latter’s rising shot from the left ended just over the bar. On the half hour, Bartolo managed to block on the goal line a fine header by Jonathan Holland following a cross from the right by Manolito Micallef.

Msida replied with a powerful Aganun freekick which ended just wide on 32 minutes. Two minutes later a cross from the left by Roderick Baldacchino was parried by Ivan Casha.

Manolito Micallef went close with a diagonal shot following a shot from the left eleven minutes in the second half. A freekick by Emiliano Lattes was then neutralised by Casha on 62 minutes. Eight minutes later, Bartolo blocked a good freekick by Mangion. On the other side of the pitch, on 75 minutes, Holland released Mark Barbara who advanced upfield but was anticipated by a defender as he was about to conclude.

On 83 minutes, Tyrone Farrugia came to the rescue for Msida as he cleared off the goal-line a fine header by Gaetan Spiteri off a corner from the right. Three minutes later, Bartolo performed a good save on a close-range effort by substitute Mead Mifsud.

One minute from time, the Saints had an excellent opportunity to equalise when off a cross from the left, Aganun’s effort was blocked by Casha, aided by the posts and off the rebound, Kevin Mifsud missed the target.

HAMRUN Ivan Casha, Aaron Attard, Mark Anthony Bonnici, Rupert Mangion, Roderick Fenech, Manolito Micallef (68′ Diego Cucciardi), Mark Barbara (84′ Mead Mifsud), Neville Galea, Gaetan Spiteri (94′ Lee James Agius), Martin Hrubsa, Jonathan Holland.
Subs not used: Luca Grech, Dalton Caruana, Christian Cacciattolo, Clyde Camoin.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
Asst. Coach: Marco Grech

MSIDA Manuel Bartolo, Stefano Grima, Roderick Baldacchino, Cedric Sciberras, Tyrone Farrugia, Adam Spiteri (62′ Iro Curmi), Olushola Aganun, Zoran Levnaic, Adrian Farrugia (80′ Kevin Mifsud), Emiliano Lattes, Karl Ebejer (71′ Andrew Formosa).
Subs not used: Daniel Borda, Matthew Borda, Darren Caruana, Lydon Micallef.
Coach: Mark Marlow
Asst. Coach: Keith Gouder

Referee: Anton Zammit
Assistant Referees: Konrad Borg, Gordon Barbara
Fourth Official: Saviour Tanti
Yellow Cards: Micallef, Bonnici, Aganun, Baldacchino, T. Farrugia, Attard, Cucciardi
BOV Player of the Match: Rupert Mangion
Scorers: 12′ Roderick Fenech

Birkirkara FC vs Floriana FC 0-1 (HT 0-0)

Birkirkara missed the opportunity to join Valletta on top the BOV Premier League table as they lost 0-1 to Floriana.

The two teams failed to impress in a game which lacked goal-mouth action. Both sides disappointed and considering the level of play, neither side deserved the points.

The Stripes had the first shot at goal on 14 minutes when Trevor Cilia’s first-time effort following a cross from the left by Angus Buhagiar ended just wide. Then for the rest of the first half, there was hardly any shot at goal, except for a Michael Galea goal which was disallowed for an offside.

On 59 minutes, Akanni-Sunday Wasiu tried his luck with a low shot which was neutralised by Jorge More. Four minutes later, a freekick by the same player ended just wide. Birkirkara replied with an Angus Buhagiar effort which just missed the target.

Following a cross by substitute Sylvano Comvalius from the left, Paul Fenech tested Bernard Paris with a shot from close range.

Floriana notched the winner two minutes in added time as substitute Christian Caruana took advantage of a defensive blunder, advanced into the area and slotted past goalkeeper Jorge Mora.

B’KARA Jorge Mora, Andrew Scicluna (68′ Alan Tabone), Nikola Vukanac, Branko Nisevic, Shaun Bajada (83′ Joseph Zerafa), Paul Fenech, George Mallia, Karl Pulo (56′ Sylvano Comvalius), Angus Buhagiar, Trevor Cilia, Michael Galea.
Subs not used: Omar Borg, Keith Fenech, Diansand Brincat, Andreas Galea.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Team Manager: Mario Gatt

FLORIANA Bernard Paris, Clifton Ciantar, Brian Said, Marlon Briffa, Pablo Doffo, Luke Agius (66′ Roberto Brincat), Donovan Simmonds (76′ Christian Caruana), Orosco Anonam, Akanni-Sunday Wasiu, Duncan Pisani, Owen Bugeja.
Subs not used: Jurgen Micallef, Ryan Darmanin, Joseph Borg, Julian Briffa, Jermain Brincat.
Coach: Roddy Collins
Team Manager: Joe Cauchi

Referee: Andre Arciola
Assistant Referees: Joe Camilleri, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Adrian Casha
Yellow Cards: Vukanac, Scicluna, Anonam, Briffa
BOV Player of the Match: Brian Said
Scorers: 90+2′ Christian Caruana