A brace by Gaetan Spiteri paved the way for Hamrun Spartans as they returned to winning ways, defeating Sliema Wanderers 3-2 to move third in the BOV Premier League.
For the Wanderers, it was yet another disappointing performance as they have now gone eight matches without a win, remaining third from bottom.
Rupert Mangion, Mark Anthony Bonnici and Dene Shields were missing once again for Hamrun while Julian Briffa was ruled out for the Wanderers.
Sliema had the first attempt at goal on the 14 th minute when off a cross by Miguel Ciantar from the right, John Mintoff’s close range shot was parried by Omar Borg.
On 23 minutes, Gaetan Spiteri was unlucky to hit the foot of the post for Hamrun with a shot from the edge of the area. Three minutes later, a Spiteri shot from inside the area was blocked into a corner by Souare and off the resulting corner from the right by David Camilleri, Roderick Fenech’s rising shot ended just over the bar.
Hamrun went close once again when Spiteri released Marcelo Pereira on the left but his conclusion ended just over the bar on 29 minutes. Nine minutes later, Jackson Lima had a freekick from the left tipped into a corner by the Hamrun custodian. Two insidious consecutive inswinging corners by Jackson Lima were turned into corners by Omar Borg just before the end of the first half.
Hamrun managed to take the lead six minutes in the second half when off a Massimo Grima cross from the right, a header by Peter Anizoba was cleared off the goal line by Sekou Tidiane Souare and off the rebound, Gaetan Spiteri hit hard past goalkeeper Aktpan.
The Spartans doubled the score on 64 minutes when Gaetan Spiteri received a through pass on the right and with a brilliant rising shot from the edge of the area, he gave the Sliema custodian no chance.
On 71 minutes, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino went close to reducing the gap for Sliema with a rising shot from the right when served by Mintoff.
Two minutes later, substitute Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza managed pulled one back for Sliema with a shot from outside the area which was deflected by a defender past goalkeeper Omar Borg.
However Hamrun restored a two-goal lead on 75 minutes with a powerful drive by Massimo Grima from outside the area which beat Aktpan.
One minute in added time, Obinna Obiefule scored a second goal for Sliema when he chested the ball down and beat goalkeeper Omar Borg with a fine volley.
Gaetan Spiteri was voted BOV Player of the Match.
Photos: Copyright © www.stephengatt.com
HAMRUN Omar Borg, Massimo Grima (79′ Mead Mifsud), Roderick Fenech, Ryan Fenech (68′ Lee James Agius), Marcelo Pereira, Gaetan Spiteri, Jovan Vukanic, Martin Hrubsa, David Camilleri, Steve Bonnici, Peter Chizoba Anizoba.
Subs not used: Ivan Casha, Aaron Attard, Larson Agius, Karl Magro, Daniel Zerafa.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
SLIEMA Ini Etim Aktpan, Josef Mifsud, Sekou Tidiane Souare (77′ James Paris), Mark Scerri (26′ Clayton Failla), Miguel Ciantar (62′ Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza), Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Jackson Lima Sequeira, Obinna Polycarp Obiefule, Roderick Bajada, John Mintoff, Beppe Muscat.
Subs not used: Viktor Szentpeteri, Noel Turner, Steve Bezzina, Adam Spiteri.
Coach: Mark Marlow
Assistant Coach: Joseph Bajada
Referee: Paul Caruana
Assistant Referees: Konrad Borg, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: P. Anizoba, M. Ciantar, B. Muscat, Souare, M. Grima, R. Bajada, O. Borg, M. Pereira
Scorers: 51′ Gaetan Spiteri (H); 64′ Gaetan Spiteri (H); 73′ Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (S); 75′ Massimo Grima (H); 90+1′ Obinna Obiefule (H)