Zebbug Rangers and Qormi earned a point each as they shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw in the derby.
Qormi therefore failed to join Valletta and Balzan in third place while Zebbug remained anchored at the bottom of the table, now three points behind Naxxar and four behind Pietà.
New Zebbug coach Alfonso Greco named the returning Clifford Gauci and Javier Diaz Serrano in the starting line-up, replacing John Nwoba and Ratko Mandic. Qormi, on the other hand, had three changes as Albert Bruce, Emerson Vella and Ryan Micallef replaced Bjorn Bondin, Steve Agius and Frank Temile.
Qormi had the first real scoring opportunity on the 20th minute as Joseph Chetcuti served Ryan Micallef from the left and the latter hit just wide. On the half-hour, Qormi appealed for a penalty as Anderson Santos advanced into the area following a good run but ended on the ground. Four minutes from the end of the first half, Carlo Maonti concluded a fine run on the right flank with a diagonal shot which ended just wide. Three minutes later, Bartolo sent Mauricio Rodriguez Britto but the latter’s powerful drive ended high.
Zebbug managed to break the deadlock on 61 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Carlo Monti was brought down inside the area by Mazzetti and from the penalty spot, the Scottish striker made no mistake.
Qormi went close on 66 minutes when goalkeeper Fabricio Rapchan rushed to the edge of the area to block a close-range effort by Anderson Santos and off the rebound, substitute Bjorn Bondin hit the foot of the post.
However on 71 minutes, Qormi were not to be denied when off a Mauricio Mazzetti freekick, there was a deflection and the ball reached Ryan Micallef who slotted the ball past the Zebbug goalkeeper.
Three minutes from time, Alfred Effiong went close with a diagonal shot from the right and a minute later, Ryan Micallef had a shot from inside the area which scraped past the post.
ZEBBUG Fabricio Rapchan dos Santos Morales, Javier Diaz Serrano, Matias Muchardi, Carlo Gordon Monti (90′ Lee James Agius), Mauricio Oscar Rodriguez Britto (85′ Bojan Mamic), Jacob Borg, Matthew Gauci, Matthew Bartolo, Clifford Gauci, Thomas Paris (78′ Melvin Farrugia), Yessous Camilleri.
Subs not used: Jeffrey Farrugia, Miguel Ciantar, Lee Galea.
Coach: Alfonso Greco
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Albert Bruce, Mauricio Matias Latini Mazzetti, Joseph Chetcuti (46′ Bjorn Bondin), Aofred Effiong, Ryan Micallef, Emerson Vella (85′ Steve Agius), Zoran Levnajic, Duncan Pisani, Jonathan Bondin, Anderson Michele Quatrochi Santos.
Subs not used: Jurgen Cilia, Pietro Viggiani, Carmelo Farrugia, Alessio Cassar, Gillmore Azzopardi.
Coach: Josef Mansueto
Referee: Christopher Lautier
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Peter Abela
Additional Assistant Referees: Fyodor Zammit, Sandro Spiteri
Fourth Official: Jurgen Spiteri
Yellow Cards: C. Gauci, E. Vella, Y. Camilleri, Mazzetti, Javi Diaz
Scorers: 61′ Carlo Monti pen (Z); 71′ Ryan Micallef (Q)
BOV Player of the Match: Carlo Monti