Birkirkara moved back in fourth place thanks to a comfortable 3-0 win over Mosta at the National Stadium. The Stripes now lie five points behind Valletta and two ahead of Floriana before the two eternal rivals cross swords in the derby on Sunday.
Mosta, on the other hand, remain second from bottom on sixteen points and have now gone two months without collecting a point, apart from the protest won over the game against Pembroke Athleta.
New coach Johann Scicluna, who took over after Zsolt Hornyak stepped down earlier this week, was unable to lead the team from the bench due to a one-match ban and his place was taken by David Vella and Michael Tabone.
An own goal on the 7th minute paved the way for the Stripes as Tyrone Farrugia headed the ball past Yenz Cini following a freekick by former Mosta youngster James Brincat from the right.
The Stripes doubled the score on the 34th minute thanks to Miguel Angel Alba who concluded a good run on the right flank with a low shot which gave the Mosta custodian no chance.
Birkirkara made it 3-0 fourteen minutes from time when Srdjan Dimitrov received an assist from the right by Gareth Sciberras and flicked the ball past Cini from close range.
B’KARA Henry Bonello, Christian Bubalovic, Gareth Sciberras, Matthew Guillaumier, Mislav Andjelkovic, Srjdan Dimitrov, Nikola Vukanac (69′ Steve Bonnici), Miguel Angel Alba (80′ Edmond Agius), Cain Attard, Gonzalo Malan, James Brincat (63′ Edward Herrera).
Subs not used: Ini Etim Akpan, Matteo Desira Buttigieg, Predrag Jovic
Coach: Nikola Jaros
MOSTA Yenz Cini, Chinatu Francis Onwudinjo (64′ Zachary Brincat), Kurt Magro, Mario Toth, David Fenech, Kyle Frendo, Njongo Priso, Adrian Caruana, Emerson Vella (33′ Heron Miranda), Tyrone Farrugia (24′ Dexter Xuereb), Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza.
Subs not used: Andreas Vella, Neil Frendo, Kemar Reid, Kemmu Degran Jackson.
Assistant Coach: David Vella
Referee: Stefan Pace
Assistant Referees: Martin Borg, Ryan Aquilina
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: N. Vukanac
BOV Player of the Match: Srdjan Dimitrov
Sliema Wanderers registered their first win over St. Andrews this season as they defeated them 4-1 at the Hibernians Stadium to move to an even more comfortable mid-table position.
For the Saints, this was a first defeat after four positive results. A defeat which leaves them third from bottom but twelve points ahead of Mosta and fourteen ahead of Pembroke.
Ironically St. Andrews took the lead when off an Ivan Paz cross, Ziga Kastrevec’s first-time effort on the half-hour ended in the top corner behind goalkeeper Giuseppe Sarao.
However seven minutes later, Sliema levelled matters through Alex Muscat who received a through pass and advanced before beating Jake Galea with a diagonal low shot.
The Wanderers forged ahead on the 66th minute when off a cross by Alex Muscat Jean Paul Farrugia headed the ball home.
Jean Paul Farrugia made it 3-1 on the 77th minute as he hit the ball hard off the rebound after a Mark Scerri effort hit the upright.
Two minutes in added time, Mark Scerri was brought down inside the area but the ball reached Matias Muchadi who deposited the ball inside the empty net.
ST. ANDREWS Jake Galea, Michael Johnson, Karlo Kesinovic, Bong Won Che, Dale Camilleri, Enmy Pena Beltre, Joseph Farrugia, Felix Okon Udoh (68’ Kyrian Nwoko), Aiden Jake Friggieri (58’ Jacob Walker), Ziga Kastrevec (82’ Godwin Mckay), Ivan Paz.
Subs not used: Dean Sciberras, Liam Grech, Jamie Magri Overend, Daniel Brandle.
Coach: Danilo Doncic
SLIEMA Giuseppe Sarao, Alex Muscat, Ryan Spiteri (75’ Wisdom Solomon), Denni Rocha dos Santos, Mark Scerri, Matias Mucchardi, Stefano Bianciardi, Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte, Jean Paul Farrugia, Leonardo Incorvaia (78’ John Mintoff), Gabriel Aquilina (64’ Peter Xuereb).
Subs not used: Miguel Bonnici, Luca Martinelli, Jonathan Pearson, Luca Brincat.
Coach: John Buttigieg
Referee: Matthew Degabriele
Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, Peter Abela
Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: Che, J.P. Farrugia, Denni, Scerri, Paz, J. Farrugia, McKay, Walker
Red Cards: 53’ Bong Won Che
BOV Player of the Match: Alex Muscat
Attendance at the Hibernians Stadium: 273
Renato Vella reporting from the Hibernians Stadium