Sliema Wanderers returned to winning ways as they defeated Qormi 3-1 to join Balzan in the fifth place on the 19-point mark.
Qormi, on the other hand, have now gone six matches without a win, losing two of the last three matches. They are now joint-eighth.
Both coaches were unable to field their best formation due to the absence of a number of players. The Wanderers lacked Alex Muscat, Filippo Andrea Scozzese, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Michael Mifsud and the suspended Fabio Mangiacasale. The Blues had five changes in all from the team which lost to Hibernians as Gnabouyou, Mintoff, Scerri, Pisanu and Friggieri were all included in the starting line-up.
Bjorn Bondin, Mauricio Mazzetti Zoran Levnajic and were ruled out through suspension for Qormi.
The Wanderers took the lead on 24 minutes when off a cross by Gnabouyou headed the ball in the direction of Bocar Djumo who rounded the goalkeeper before hitting low and although the ball was cleared off the goal line by a defender, the goal was convalidated by the Georgian referee.
Qormi replied with a good move by Alfred Effiong on the right but the latter’s pass was deflected by Glenn Zammit with the ball cleared by Mintoff and rebounding onto Viggiani, ending wide. A Ryan Micallef effort was neutralised by Zammit a few minutes later.
The Wanderers doubled the score on the 70th when off a cross by John Mintoff, Guy Gnabouyou’s conclusion was partially saved by Matthew Farrugia and Mark Scerri slotted the ball past the Qormi goalkeeper.
Qormi pulled one back a minute later when off a cross from the right, Effiong headed the ball in the direction of Ryan Micallef and the latter served Frank Temile who placed the ball at the back of the net from close range.
Sliema however restored a two-goal lead on 72 minutes thanks to a great goal by Aidan Friggieri who rounded a defender on the right before slotting the ball past Farrugia with a powerful shot with his left foot.
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Albert Bruce, Roderick Sammut, Pietro Viggiani (55′ Joseph Chetcuti), Steve Agius (79′ Alessio Cassar), Alfred Effiong, Frank Temile, Ryan Micallef (80′ Carmelo Farrugia), Duncan Pisani, Jonathan Bondin, Anderson Michele Quatrochi Santos.
Subs not used: Jurgen Cilia, Karl Sciortino, Emerson Vella, Gilmore Azzopardi.
Coach: Josef Mansueto
SLIEMA Glenn Zammit, Guy Kassa Gnabouyou, John Mintoff, Mark Scerri, Andrea Pisanu (65′ Peter Xuereb), Marko Potezica, Trevor Cilia, Aidan Jake Azzopardi (86′ Filippo Talato), Bocar Djumo, Beppe Muscat (53′ Luca Martinelli), Stefano Bianciardi.
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Iousef Meli, Clive Psaila, Axl Xuereb.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Referee: Lasha Silagava (GEO)
Assistant Referees: Zaza Menteshashvili, Zaza Pipia (GEO)
Additional Assistant Referees: Chris Lautier, Sandro Spiteri
Fourth Official: Philip Farrugia
Yellow Cards: Micallef, Scerri, Cilia, Temile
Scorers: 24′ Bocar Djumo, 70′ Mark Scerri, 71′ Frank Temile, 72′ Aidan Jake Friggieri
BOV Player of the Match: Mark Scerri