Early goal hands Stars victory

Vittoriosa maintained hopes of avoiding relegation by winning the third game out of four against Hibernians thanks to an early goal by Jorge Santos Silva.

The Stars now lie five points behind Qormi but the latter have a game in hand. The two teams then will cross swords next week.

Both sides had a number of changes from their last outing. Hibs lacked defenders Ryan Camilleri and Aaron Xuereb and midfielder Richie Hart with goalkeeper Mario Muscat and Andrew Cohen both starting the game on the bench. Vittoriosa, on the other hand, could not count on central defenders Steve Wellman and Jeffrey Chetcuti and Brazilian striker Edison Luis Dos Santos.

The Paolites went close on the 4th minute with a shot by Paul McManus which was neutralised by Herrera. A minute later, Brian Fairbairn served captain Jonathan Pearson whose effort hit the upright.

Vittoriosa took the lead on the 8th minute when off an Anthony Ewurum cross from the right, Jorge Santos Silva headed home past goalkeeper Daniel Balzan.

On the half hour, a shot from the left by Leighton Grech was partially saved by Balzan, Jorge Santos Silva took the rebound, only to be floored by Bjorn Kristensen just outside the area. The Brazilian striker hit just wide from the resulting freekick.

After the break, goal-mouth action was rare. Jean Vella performed a great save on a Patrick Osei effort on 67 minutes. Then on the 80th, Fairbairn served Andrew Cohen on the left but the latter’s shot ended incredibly wide.

Anthony Ewurum was voted BOV Player of the Match.

VITTORIOSA Jean Vella, Pierre Aquilina, Justin Camilleri, Carlos Campagnoli, Jonathan Xerri, Murilo Maccari, Dino Cachia, Ryan Grech, Jorge Santos Silva, Anthony Ewurum, Leighton Grech.
Subs not used: Simon Agius, Clayton Micallef, Larry Lagana, Alan Tabone, Mauro Brincat, Alex Camilleri.
Coach: Winston Muscat
Assistant Coach: Darren Abdilla

HIBS Daniel Balzan, Edward Herrera, Matthew Tabone, Jonathan Pearson, Adrian Pulis (67′ Matt Clarke), Bjorn Kristensen, Patrick Osei, Abdelilah Taki (56′ Andrew Cohen), Brian Fairbairn, Triston Caruana (87′ Matthew Gauci), Paul McManus.
Subs not used: Mario Muscat, Rene Duca, Dylan Sammut, Keith Tanti.
Coach: Mark Miller
Assistant Coach: Edmond Lufi

Referee: Glenn Tonna
Assistant Referees: Philip Agius, Ingmar Spiteri
Fourth Official: Adrian Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Kristensen, Pulis, Cachia, R. Grech, P. Aquilina, J. Pearson
Scorers: 8′ Jorge Santos Silva
Attendance: 201