Hamrun Spartans scored three in the first half as they returned to winning ways, beating Sliema Wanderers 3-0. Three points which put the Spartans in sixth place, just two points behind the Wanderers.
It was a well-deserved win for Steve D’Amato’s side as although they suffered their opponents’ pressure in the early stages, once they took the lead, they were clearly a better side.
Missing for Sliema were Ryan Fenech and Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza. The Spartans, on the other hand, lacked Rupert Mangion and Timothy Fleri Soler.
The Blues had the first attempt at goal on 9 minutes with two consecutive shots by Julio Alcorse, served by Alex Muscat, blocked by Roderick Fenech. Three minutes later, Ivan Woods served Alcorse on the left but the latter’s goal-bound shot was cleared into safety by Fenech once again.
Hamrun replied with a solo effort by Marcelo Pereira who concluded a good move with a shot from the left which was neutralised by Simon Agius.
The Spartans took the lead on the half-hour when off a cross from the right, Manolito Micallef served Marcelo Pereira who slotted the ball past goalkeeper Simon Agius.
The Blues’ reaction consisted of a Pedrinho cross from the left from which a first time effort by Ivan Woods was parried by the Hamrun custodian.
Hamrun doubled the score four minutes from the end of the first half. Marcelo Pereira released Joao Mawete with a perfect throughpass and the latter hit low past Agius.
Two minutes in added time, Hamrun made it 3-0 when off a Clyde Camoin corner from the right, Joao Mawete headed home from close range.
Early in the second half, Clayton Failla had a powerful shot from the left deflected into a corner.
From then onwards, the Spartans controlled without particular difficulty and even went close to increasing the lead six minutes from time with a shot by Gaetan Spiteri from the edge of the area which was deflected into a corner. On the other side of the pitch, Julio Alcorse had a close-range header ending just wide a minute later.
Marcelo Pereira was voted BOV Player of the Match.
HAMRUN Ivan Casha, Mark Anthony Bonnici (88′ Aaron Attard), Roderick Fenech, Manolito Micallef, Diego Cucciardi, Marcelo Pereira (92′ Mead Mifsud), Gaetan Spiteri, Martin Hrubsa, Jonathan Holland (68′ Mark Barbara), Joao Mawete, Clyde Camoin.
Subs not used: Andrea Cassar, Dalton Caruana, Lee James Agius, Mauro Busuttil.
Coach: Steve D’Amato Asst. Coach: Marco Grech
SLIEMA Simon Agius, Alex Muscat, Ian Azzopardi, Josef Mifsud (80′ Ian Ciantar), Mark Scerri (71′ Noel Turner), Clifford Gatt Baldacchino (46′ John Mintoff), Ivan Woods, Lucian Dronca, Julio Alcorse, Pedro Dos Santos Calcado, Clayton Failla.
Subs not used: Jeremy Alden, Raymond Attard, Amadeo Mercieca, Klinsmann Grech.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi Team Manager: Rupert Perry
Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Asst. Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Konrad Borg
Fourth Official: Paul Caruana
Yellow Cards: Failla, Calcado, Bonnici