Sliema Wanderers registered a second consecutive win as they came from behind to beat Old Firm rivals Floriana 3-1 at the National Stadium on Saturday.
This was a highly disappointing result for the Greens who missed the opportunity to join Birkirkara and Hibernians in second place, therefore staying in sixth place, one point behind Valletta.
Buttigieg maintained faith in the same starting line-up of the last game against Tarxien while Floriana, with coach Giovanni Tedeso and his assistant Salvatore Caleca forced to watch the game from the stands after being slapped with bans,
Floriana managed to take the lead on the 12th minute when Mario Fontanella received a throughpass and advanced upfield, dribbling the goalkeeper who rushed out of the area and deposited the ball inside the empty net.
Sliema equalised on the 25th minute when off a Matias Muchardi freekick, Jean Paul Farrugia rose high and beat Haber.
Six minutes later, the Blues forged ahead when Muchardi sent Salomon Wisdom through and the latter, with a diagonal shot, gave Haber no chance.
Four minutes from the end of the first half, Sliema made it 3-1 when off an assist by John Mintoff from the right, Marko Potezica hit home past the helpless Haber.
Four minutes in the second half, the Wanderers were reduced to ten men as Marko Potezica was sent off by referee Mario Apap.
Floriana could have reduced the gap on the 65th minute but Enzo Ruiz was unlucky to hit the upright with a freekick.
SLIEMA Glen Zammit, Alex Muscat, Gary Muir, Gabriel Aquilina, Peter Xuereb, Wisdom Salomon (46′ Denni Rocha dos Santos), Mathias Muchardi, John Mintoff, Mark Scerri, Jean Paul Farrugia, Marko Potezica (90+2′ Armando Vieira dos Santos Tarlaziz).
Subs not used: Miguel Bonnici, Beppe Muscat, Michele Sansone, Ryan Spiteri, Milos Galin.
Coach: John Buttigieg
FLORIANA Justin Haber, Antonio Monticelli (67′ Brooke Farrugia), Enrico Pepe, Enzo Ruiz, Steve Pisani (46′ Clyde Borg), Ignacio Varela, Maurizio Vella, Jurgen Pisani, Alex Cini (60′ Ryan Camenzuli), Nicolas Chiesa, Mario Fontanella.
Subs not used: Matthew Grech, Andre Scicluna, Mattia Zarb, Daniel Agius.
Referee: Mario Apap
Assistant referees: Duncan Sultana, Luke Portelli
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow cards: Potezica, Ruiz, Varela
Red Card: 49′ Marko Potezica
Scorers: 12’ Mario Fontanella, 25’ Jean Paul Farrugia, 31’ Salomon Wisdom, 41’ Marko Potezica
BOV Player of the Match: Mathias Muchardi
Renato Vella reporting from the National Stadium