Hibernians extended their positive run thanks to another hard-fought win, this time in an entertaining clash with Zejtun Corinthians at the Centenary Stadium on Friday.
Stefano Sanderra’s side therefore registers a sixth consecutive positive result to move three points clear of Gzira, Hamrun and Sliema, who all have a game in hand. Zejtun, on the other hand, suffer another narrow defeat after losing 1-2 to Gzira last week.
The Paolites managed to take the lead on the 13th minute when Shola Shodiya received an assist by Jake Grech on the right and hit low past goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone.
Four minutes later, Hibs doubled the score when Jurgen Degabriele pounced on a back header by Herrera on the left and lobbed the ball over the Zejtun goalkeeper.
However, Zejtun reduced the gap on 36 minutes after Kemar Reid was floored inside the area and the same player converted from the penalty spot.
Five minutes from the end of the first half, the Corinthians levelled matters when Adrian Carabott served Rafael de Fex Mariaga and the latter pulled to a more central position before beating Matthew Calleja Cremona with a fine shot from the edge of the area.
However, seven minutes from time, Hibs were awarded a penalty after Gabriel Izquier was brought down inside the area and from the penalty spot, Jake Grech converted.
ZEJTUN Ibrahim Kone, Diego Albanese, Lucas Gama Moreira, Adrian Carabott, Kemar Reid, Marcelo Pereira Muniz, Gianluca Bugeja (61′ Dylan Agius), Ricardo Silva Faria, Edward Herrera, Neil Tabone, Rafael de Fex Mariaga (84′ Jurgen Suda).
Coach: Orosco Anonam
HIBS Matthew Calleja Cremona, Ferdinando Apap, Leandro Almeida da Silva, Ayrton Attard, Jake Grech, Jurgen Degabriele (84′ Zachary Karl Grech), Dunstan Vella, Gabriel Izquier Artiles, Shola Shodiya, Andrei Agius, Jose Wilkson Teixeira (73′ Rundell Winchester).
Coach: Stefano Sanderra
Referee: Stefan Pace
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Roberto Vella
Fourth Official: Emanuel Grech
Yellow Cards: Muniz, Ricardinho, de Fex, Vella, Teixeira, Apap
BOV Player of the Match: Rafael de Fex Mariaga