Final four teams vie for FA Trophy glory

Holders Sliema Wanderers take on Tarxien Rainbows at the National Stadium while SK Victoria Wanderers host Floriana at the Gozo Stadium in the two semi-finals of the FA Trophy on Saturday. Both games kick-off at 17:00.

Sliema Wanderers and Floriana – the two most successful clubs in the competition – start as firm favourites to secure a place in next Saturday’s final. The Wanderers won the competition 21 times while the Greens won it 19 times.

The Wanderers reached this stage after beating Premier League side Mosta 3-2, Second Division side Qrendi 5-0 and First Division side Senglea Athletic 3-2 on penalties following a goalless draw at the end of extra-time. Tarxien, on the other hand, defeated First Division sides Gharghur and Lija Athletic 6-0 and 3-0 respectively and last season’s finalists Balzan 2-1 after extra-time.

Sliema ended their commitments in the BOV Premier League with an impressive positive run of nine matches to finish sixth on 52 points. The Rainbows, on the other hand, placed ninth on 35 points. The Wanderers defeated Tarxien 2-1 in the first round, the Rainbows won 1-0 in the second while the third round clash ended in a 1-1 draw.

Meanwhile SK Victoria Wanderers made history by becoming the first Gozitan team to reach this stage. The Wanderers entered the competition in the first round and on their way to the semi-finals, defeated Third Division side Sta. Venera Lightnings 3-0, First Division side Melita 2-1, Second Division side Mgarr United 5-0 and Premier League sides St. Andrews and Pembroke Athleta 1-0 and 2-0 respectively.

However in the BOV Gozo Football League First Division, SKVW had a rather disappointing season where they finished second from bottom on 16 points from 21 matches and only secured their First Division status after defeating Second Division runners-up St. Lawrence Spurs in the play-off.

Floriana, on the other hand, finished fifth in the BOV Premier League on 54 points. The Greens beat Second Division side Birzebbuga St. Peter’s 5-0, Gozitan side Ghajnsielem 4-1 and Premier League side Hamrun Spartans 2-0.