Sliema Wanderers strengthened their fourth place as they defeated Qormi 4-1 to move five points behind joint-leaders Birkirkara and Hibernians.
For the Blues, this was the third win in four matches while Qormi remain second from bottom on eight points.
The Wanderers lacked foreigners Stanley Ohawuchi and Abubakar Bello-Osagie but Italian defender Alessandro Rapino was making his debut after joining the club earlier this week. Qormi, on the other hand, lacked Matthew Farrugia, Owen Bugeja and Alfred Effiong.
Sliema took the lead on 35 minutes when off a fine run by Pape Gueye, he served Trevor Cilia who slotted the ball past Steve Sultana from close range.
A minute later, the Wanderers doubled the score when Pape Gueye stole the ball off Marco Petrassi, advanced into the area and rounded the goalkeeper before placing the ball at the back of the net.
Three minutes from the end of the first half, Luigi del Guidice rounded Henry Bonello but his goal-bound shot was cleared off the goal line by Alessandro Rapino.
However two minutes later, Qormi reduced the gap with an angled shot by Luigi del Guidice from the left which beat Bonello.
Sliema went close to increasing the lead on 69 minutes with a back-heel effort by Pape Gueye from close range but Sultana neutralised his attempt.
Both sides ended the game in ten men as Mark Scerri was sent off for Sliema two minutes from time and two minutes in added time, Duncan Pisani was dismissed for Qormi.
QORMI Steve Sultana, Roderick Sammut, Giuseppe Bellucci (86′ Leonardo Gabrieli), Emerson Vella, Roderick Bajada (77′ Dylan Pirotta), Triston Caruana, Gianluca Nucera, Luigi del Giudice (57′ Leighton Grech), Duncan Pisani, Marco Petrassi, Federico Santaguida.
Subs not used: Steven Baldacchino, Dormond Micallef, Karl Sciortino, Gilmour Azzopardi.
Coach: Tommaso Volpi
SLIEMA Henry Bonello, Alex Muscat, Jacob Borg (46′ Beppe Muscat), Alessandro Rapino, John Mintoff, Mark Scerri, Trevor Cilia, Pape Gueye, Paltemio Barbetti, Matias Muchardi, Stefano Bianciardi.
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Gabriel Aquilina, Axl Xuereb, Andrea Navarra, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Carl Cassar.
Coach: Alfonso Greco
Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Chris Francalanza
Additional Assistant Referees: Marco Borg, Sandro Spiteri
Fourth Official: Alan Camilleri
Yellow Cards: Santaguida, Bonello, Bianciardi, Bellucci, B. Muscat
Red Cards: 88′ Mark Scerri; 90+2′ Duncan Pisani
Scorers: 35′ Trevor Cilia (S); 36′ Pape Gueye (S); 44′ Luigi del Guidice (Q); 80′ Alex Muscat (S)
BOV Player of the Match: Pape Gueye