Luke Montebello scored twice as Birkirkara returned to winning ways, defeating bottom-placed Sliema Wanderers 2-0 at the National Stadium on Saturday.
The Stripes therefore move in second place, five points behind leaders Hibernians and two ahead of Floriana but the Paolites have a game in hand. The Wanderers, on the other hand, remain anchored at the bottom of the table with four points after the protest lodged by Valletta was upheld by the MFA Protests Board.
During the first half, the Wanderers had their fair share of scoring opportunities and were unlucky to hit the crossbar with an Edmond Agius freekick.
However six minutes in the second half, Birkirkara managed to break the deadlock courtesy of a Luke Montebello penalty after Federico Falcone was floored inside the area by Juan Pablo Morales.
Luke Montebello sealed the issue with a second goal on the 67th minute when he received a cross by Yannick Yankam from the right and controlled the ball before hitting past goalkeeper David Cassar.