Birkirkara returned to victory as they registered a narrow 2-1 defeat over Floriana. They move back on top the BOV Premier League table together with Valletta on 33 points.
Joseph Zerafa, Karl Pulo, Angus Buhagiar and George Mallia were missing for Birkirkara but Carlo Mamo was making his debut after joining the club on loan from Marsaxlokk. On the other hand, Floriana had Brian Said ruled out through suspension while Marlon Briffa and Luke Agius were are all ruled out injured.
The Stripes had the first attempt at goal on 17 minutes when Michael Galea tested Bernard Paris with a close-range header following a cross from the right by Carlo Mamo. On the other side of the pitch, Ryan Darmanin failed to connect off an inviting Pablo Doffo freekick on 23 minutes.
Birkirkara took the lead on 38 minutes when off a cross shot by Michael Galea from the left was deflected by a defender past goalkeeper Bernard Paris for an own goal.
Two minutes in the second half, Floriana levelled matters when off an erratic clearance by Branko Nisevic, Ryan Darmanin hit low with goalkeeper Jorge Mora failing to stop his attempt.
The Stripes were quick to regain the lead on 52 minutes when off a cross by Shaun Bajada, goalkeeper Bernard Paris failed to save, probably as he was obstructed by an opponent, and Michael Galea hit low from close range.
On the hour, Paul Fenech was unlucky to hit the upright for Birkirkara with Bernard Paris beaten. Jorge Mora then performed a good save on a Pablo Doffo freekick on 72 minutes. Three minutes later, a freekick by Shaun Bajada ended just wide.
Paul Fenech was voted BOV Player of the Match.
FLORIANA Bernard Paris, Clifton Ciantar, Stefano Grima (63′ Clyde Borg), Orosco Anonam, Owen Bugeja, Pablo Doffo, Joseph Borg, Sacha Borg, Christian Caruana, Ryan Darmanin, Victor Zlydarev (55′ Julian Briffa).
Subs not used: Jurgen Micallef, Mark Spiteri, Jermain Brincat, Brooke Farrugia, Greg Makney.
Coach: Zoran Popovic Asst. Coach: Darren Abdilla
B’KARA Jorge Mora, Thomas Paris, Branko Nisevic, Nikola Vukanac, Trevor Cilia, Shaun Bajada, Paul Fenech (79′ Alan Tabone), Rowen Muscat, Michael Galea, Sylvano Comvalius, Carlo Mamo.
Subs not used: Omar Borg, Andrew Scicluna, Andreas Galea, Diansand Brincat, Ryan Scicluna, Michael Camilleri.
Coach: Paul Zammit Team Manager: Mario Gatt
Referee: Chris Lautier
Asst Referees: Mariano Debono, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Andre Arciola
Yellow Cards: Doffo, C. Caruana, C. Mamo, J. Borg