Hamrun Spartans registered a second successive win on Friday as they defeated rivals Msida St. Joseph 2-0. Hamrun are now fifth, one point ahead of Sliema and Floriana, who however have a game in hand.
The Spartans had two changes from the team which defeated Sliema as debutante Ian Zammit and the returning Rupert Mangion replaced the injured Jonathan Holland and Diego Cucciardi. Msida duo Cedric Sciberras and Tyrone Farrugia were back for Msida after serving a one-match ban. Congolese striker Kalenga Ndayi was making his debut for the Saints after Costa Rican Windell Gabriels was released by the club.
Hamrun had the first real scoring opportunity when Joao Mawete released Marcelo Pereira who concluded a good move with a shot from the left hitting the foot of the post on 23 minutes.
On 34 minutes, Ian Zammit tested Manuel Bartolo with a powerful shot from the right, following a short clearance by Cedric Sciberras, but the shot was turned into a corner. A minute later, Pereira served Joao Mawete whose low shot from the left was parried by the Msida custodian.
One minute from the end of the first half, the Spartans took the lead as they were awarded a penalty after Joao Mawete was brought down inside the area by Adam Spiteri. From the penalty spot, Marcelo Pereira converted.
Ten minutes in the second half, Msida went close to equalising when a shot by Emiliano Lattes from the edge of the area, after that a shot by Miguel Ciantar was blocked by a defender, was deflected by Ivan Casha into a corner.
Hamrun doubled the score on 65 minutes when off a Clyde Camoin corner, Roderick Fenech headed the ball home past goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo.
Marcelo Pereira was voted BOV Player of the Match
MSIDA Manuel Bartolo, Lydon Micallef, Matthew Borda, Tyrone Farrugia, Cedric Sciberras, Zoran Levnaic, Adam Spiteri (62′ Andrew Formosa), Miguel Ciantar (72′ Adrian Farrugia), Kevin Mifsud, Emiliano Lattes, Kalenga Ndayi.
Subs not used: Daniel Borda, Charlie Black, Karl Ebejer, Damien Debono, Joseph Damato.
Coach: Keith Gouder Team Manager: Robert Farrugia
HAMRUN Ivan Casham, Mark Anthony Bonnici, Roderick Fenech, Rupert Mangion, Manolito Micallef, Marcelo Pereira (89′ Mark Barbara), Gaetan Spiteri (84′ Diego Cucciardi), Martin Hrubsa, Joao Mawete Junior, Clyde Camoin, Ian Zammit (92′ Mead Mifsud).
Subs not used: Andrea Cassar, Dalton Caruana, Neville Galea, Lee James Agius.
Coach: Steve D’Amato Asst. Coach: Marco Grech
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Asst. Referees: Philip Agius, Edward Spiteri
Fourth Official: Glenn Tonna
Yellow Cards: Mangion, L. Micallef, A. Spiteri, K. Mifsud, Sciberras, Mawete, Zammit