Naxxar Lions and Mosta shared the spoils in a goalless draw at the National Stadium on Saturday.
A result which suited neither side as the Lions were hoping to move two points clear of Birkirkara and Marsaxlokk but now share the fourth place with them with both the Stripes and the Southseasiders having a game in hand.
Mosta, on the other hand, now lie in tenth place, two points behind Valletta, one ahead of Gzira United and three ahead of Santa Lucia with the latter two having a game in hand.
The two teams shared the exchanges throughout the first half with play concentrated in midfield and shots at goal being few and far in between.
In the second half, Precious Linus Tenebe had a good attempt neutralised by Naxxar goalkeeper Matthias Debono while on the other side of the pitch, Mosta goalkeeper David Udoh Akpan performed a good save on a powerful drive by Pablo Augusto. Armen Hovhannisyan then went close to putting Mosta ahead but his goal-bound effort was cleared off the goal line.
In the dying minutes, Mosta appealed for a penalty which was however turned down by referee Philip Farrugia who later sent off Pablo Augusto of Naxxar.