Tarxien Rainbows missed the chance to join Floriana in second place after being held in a 1-1 draw by Sliema Wanderers.
The Rainbows therefore remain in third place, two points behind Floriana and two ahead of Birkirkara while the Wanderers are still seventh move to just three points behind Marsaxlokk and Hamrun.
Both coaches were unable to field their best formation due to the absence of John Mintoff for Sliema and Luke Vella Critien for Tarxien.
The Wanderers had the first attempt at goal on the 6th when a shot from the right by Jackson Lima ended just wide. Tarxien replied with a corner by Justin Grioli from which Orosco Anonam hit the crossbar with a good header on the 27th.
A rising shot by Obinna Obiefule from the left was saved by David Cassar aided by the crossbar on 38 minutes and five minutes later, Chakib Lachkhem concluded a swift counter-attack for Sliema with a fine shot from the left which was turned into a corner by goalkeeper David Cassar.
The two teams continued to share the exchanges after the break and Ricardo Costa headed wide off a Justin Grioli corner from the right on 65 minutes. Three minutes later, Mark Scerri tested the Tarxien custodian with an angled shot from the left.
The Rainbows managed to break the deadlock on 69 minutes when off a Grioli cross from the right, substitute Cristiano Dos Santos Rodrigues, who had replaced Sergio Pacheco just six minutes earlier, headed home with the ball hitting the upright before ending at the back of the net.
Ten minutes from time, Mifsud Triganza sent Miguel Ciantar through but David Cassar rushed out of the area to clear the ball into safety.
Sliema went close to equalising on the 88th minute but Chakib Lachkhem headed wide off an inviting cross by Miguel Ciantar from the right.
However the Wanderers were not to be denied on the 90th when they notched the equaliser when off a Noel Turner freekick from the right, Jackson Lima’s powerful header was not held by the Tarxien goalkeeper.
Justin Grioli was voted BOV Player of the Match.
Photo: Copyright © www.stephengatt.com
SLIEMA Viktor Szentpeteri, Josef Mifsud, Mark Scerri (82′ Noel Turner), Steve Bezzina, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Jackson Lima Sequeira, Obinna Obiefule, Chakib Lachkhem, Roderick Bajada (79′ Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza), Beppe Muscat, Clayton Failla (74′ Miguel Ciantar).
Subs not used: Henry Bonello, Julian Briffa, James Paris, Adam Spiteri
Coach: Mark Marlow
Assistant Coach: Joseph Bajada
TARXIEN David Cassar, Steve Sadowski, Manuel Caruana, Everton Antonio Pereira, Ricardo Costa (88′ Sergio Hili), Sergio Pacheco De Oliveira (63′ Cristiano Dos Santos Rodrigues), Mark Tanti (58′ Ryan Mintoff), Daniel Mariano Bueno, Orosco Anonam, Lee Galea, Justin Grioli.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Andre Farrugia, Gianluca Calabretta, Julian Vella.
Coach: Noel Coleiro
Assistant Coach: Michael Church
Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Chris Francalanza
Fourth Official: Paul Caruana
Yellow Cards: Sergio Pacheco
Scorers: 69′ Cristiano Dos Santos Rodrigues (T); 90′ Jackson Lima Sequeira (S)