Kevaughn Atkinson notched a hat-trick as St. Andrews registered a fine 3-1 win over Mosta at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.
The Saints had two new faces – Matthew Woo Ling and Amoy Brown. On the other hand, Mosta coach Enrico Piccioni handed seven players their debut, namely Emmanuel Ibok Edet, Romeu Romao, Kei Hirose, Renan Oliveira, Misael Miranda Gomez, James Brincat and Kurt Zammit.
St. Andrews took the lead on the 5th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Romeu Romao handled the ball inside the area and from the penalty spot Kevaughn Atkinson made no mistake.
Mosta equalised on the 13th minute thanks to a fine rising shot by Renan Oliveira following a cross by Massimo Sammartino.
Amoy Brown was unlucky to hit the woodwork for St. Andrews with goalkeeper Andreas Vella beaten on the 29th minute.
St. Andrews regained the lead on the 57th minute. Amoy Brown sent Kevaughn Atkinson through on the right flank and the latter advanced into the area before slotting past the Mosta custodian.
The Saints sealed the issue on the 74th minute thanks to Kevaughn Atkinson, served by Kyle Butler, beating Andreas Vella with a fine angled shot.
Three minutes later, Martin Davis almost added another when he rounded a defender and tried his luck with a shot from the left but the ball was deflected by Calleja Cremona onto the upright before being cleared into safety by a defender.
St. Andrews defender Adrian Borg was sent off one minute from time after receiving a second yellow card.
MOSTA Andreas Vella, Kei Hirose, Renan Abner do Carmo de Oliveira, James Brincat (80′ Jurgen Grech), Massimo Sammartino, Dexter Xuereb (60′ Francesco Mazzavilani), Misael Miranda Gomez, Tyrone Farrugia, Emmanuel Ibok Edet, Romeu Pericles Romao, Kurt Zammit (83′ Kyle Frendo).
Subs not used; Craig Abdilla, Jordan Vella, Aleandro Sultana, Luca Gatt.
Coach: Enrico Piccioni
Asst. Coach: Johann Cilia
ST. ANDREWS Matthew Calleja Cremona, Alex Satariano, Travis Blagrove, Kevaughn Atkinson, Kyle Butler (89′ Dejan Debono), Joseph Farrugia (83′ Mattia Veselji), Matthew Woo Ling, Adrian Borg, Amoy Brown (68′ Miguel D’Alessandro), Martin Davis, Jason Vandelannoite.
Subs not used: Duncan Formosa, Samuel Barthet, Aidan Jake Friggieri, Malcolm Vella Vidal.
Coach: Johann Scicluna
Asst. Coach: Alejandro Pantoja
Referee: Emanuel Grech
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Darko Stankovic
Fourth Official: Jude Amin Utulu
Yellow Cards: Butler, Woo Ling, Satariano, Hirose, Blagrove, Borg
Red Cards: 89’ Adrian Borg
BOV Player of the Match: Kevaughn Atkinson
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Meanwhile at the National Stadium, two second-half goals gave Hamrun Spartans a 2-0 win over Floriana.
Hamrun had no less than nine players making their debut with Triston Caruana and Karl Micallef being the only players from last season’s squad to make it to the starting line-up. Floriana, on the other hand, had Mohammed Saleh and Clayton Failla making their debut along with substitue Patrick Wleh.
The Spartans took the lead on the 64th minute when off a cross from the left by Njongo Priso, Hennenberg headed the ball down and Kevin Tulimieri slotted the ball past goalkeeper Ini Etim Akpan.
One minute from time, Hamrun doubled the score thanks to substitute Bradley Schembri who placed the ball at the back of the net from close range when served from the right by Hennenberg.
HAMRUN Manuel Bartolo, Antonio Monticelli, Enrico Pepe, Triston Caruana, Sebastian Nayar, Carlos Henneberg (92′ Ryan Darmanin), Matthew Gauci, Njongo Priso, Karl Micallef, Caetano Calil, Kevin Tulimieri (84′ Bradley Schembri).
Subs not used: Lyden Moore, Russell Vella, Cain Cutajar, Darren Borg, Jeremy Busuttil.
FLORIANA Ini Etim Akpan, Mohammed Saleh, Enzo Ruiz, Steve Pisani, Ignacio Varela, Juninho Cabral, Clayton Failla, Jurgen Pisani (67′ Patrick Wleh), Alex Cini (87′ Mattia Zarb), Arthur Henrique Ricciardi Oyama, Emerson Marcelina.
Subs not used: Matthew Grech, Clyde Borg, Bradley Sciberras, Dylan Grima, Jake Stensen.
Coach: Nicholas Chiesa
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, Mitchell Scerri
Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: Saleh, Oyama, Micallef, Cabral, Priso