ĦAMRUN SPARTANS 1
H. Bonello, S. Borg, M. Guillaumier, E. Mashike-6.5 (K. Holmberg), R. Prsa-7 (80 R. Callegari), O. Bjelicic, J. Corbalan, Jonny-6 (58 Eder), J. Mbong-6 (59 J. Ailton Soares), E. Marcelina, R. Camenzuli.
C. Formosa, E. Ruiz, A. Zammit-5 (56 Niltinho), S. Dimech, E. Pena Beltre, F. Falcone-5 (56 W. Jebor), B. Kamdem, B. Paiber, J. Ngong, J. Wily-5 (46 R. Muscat), K. Bevis.
Referee Glen Tonna.
Yellow cards Corbalan, Willy, Jonny, Ailton Soares, Eder.
BOV Player of the match Matthew Guillaumier (Ħamrun Spartans).
There’s no stopping the Ħamrun Spartans’ winning machine as the runaway Premier League leaders edged past Valletta to secure their eighth successive league victory.
An Elvis Mashike goal after 20 minutes of play was enough for the Spartans to secure all three points that put them 14 points clear of nearest rivals Gżira United and Birkirkara and a step closer to a ninth championship crown.
On the other hand, Valletta will feel disappointed with the result, particularly given their spirited performance in the second half, but they committed some costly-errors that cost them the match and will surely hope to make up for this disappointment when the two teams meet again in the FA Trophy on Wednesday.
Ħamrun were on the front foot right from the outset and they came close to taking the lead on 12 minutes.
Elvis Mashike served Jonny on the edge of the area and the latter quickly flicked the ball into the path of Joseph Mbong who saw his shot saved by Cain Formosa, the Valletta goalkeeper.
The Spartans were regaled with the opener on 20 minutes. From a Valletta goal kick, Bradley Kamden’s attempted pass towards Jean Marie Ngong was intercepted by Jonny who quickly fed Mashike who blasted the ball past Formosa.
Five minutes later, the Spartans should have made it 2-0. Jonny dispossessed Ngong with the ball falling to Prsa who set up Guillaumier who was denied by Formosa.
The Spartans were in full control as their high pressing was making life impossible for Valletta to come out of their half and create danger on the Ħamrun defence.
Three minutes from the break, Prsa picked Joseph Mbong at the far post but the Malta winger was blocked.
Ħamrun continued where they left off in the second half when Ognjen Bjelicic connected to Guillaumier’s corner but his effort finished just over.
The Reds threatened again on 56 minutes when Formosa fumbled his attempt to block Camenzuli’s cross, the ball fell to Prsa who saw his effort blocked by the City defenders.
Valletta came close on 67 minutes when from a Niltinho corner, Enzo Ruiz was given time and space but his header finished just past the upright.
The Citizens were growing in their stature and 13 minutes from time Rowen Muscat fed Shaun Dimech who just managed to keep his balance but his shot finished just wide.
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