Hibernians dropped two points in a goalless draw with a Hamrun Spartans side reduced to ten men National Stadium on Saturday.
The Paolites, who were eager to bounce back after suffering a defeat to Birkirkara last week, move temporarily two points ahead of Floriana but risk losing the top spot should Floriana beat Gudja United later on Saturday. In seven matches, they managed to win just two games, earning another four points in draws.
The Spartans, on the other hand, are still fourth and are yet to secure a top-six spot after collecting just five points in five draws out of the last seven league matches.
On the half-hour, Hibernians had a golden opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty after Claude Dielna brought Hugo Filipe da Costa Oliveira down inside the area – an incident which led to the dismissal of the French midfielder – but the Portuguese midfielder’s effort from the penalty spot was parried by Bonello.
Early in the second half, Dunstan Vella tested the Hamrun goalkeeper with a shot from close range. On the other side of the pitch, Faissal El Bakhtaoui had a fine freekick which was blocked by Hibs goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone. Late in the game, Henry Bonello came to the rescue once again, turning into a corner a Dunstan Vella effort and then blocking a long-distance shot by Jurgen Degabriele.