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Leaders Ħamrun Spartans ease past struggling Gudja United

Seth Paintsil scores the second goal for Ħamrun Spartans against Gudja United. Photo: Jonathan Borg

Sirens, Marsaxlokk share the spoils in 1-1 draw.

Luke Montebello 4, Seth Paintsil 26, Elionay Freitas 45, Uros Duranovic 77.

Ħamrun Spartans marched on towards another victory after cruising past Gudja United to secure their 13th win of the season.

Luciano Zauri’s side keep their three-point lead above second-place Floriana with a commanding performance that saw the Spartans open a three-goal lead already in the first half.

Luke Montebello cemented his lead as the league’s best scorer with his 15th goal of the season after opening the score inside the opening two minutes.

The Malta international received a well-weighted through ball from Elionay Freitas before beating two Gudja defenders and firing a low drive into the far post.

On the 26th minute, Ħamrun added a second when Seth Paintsil connected with a Roko Prsa’s corner to beat Justin Spiteri.

The Spartans made sure of the victory just before half-time when they added a third through another corner-kick.

This time, it was Luke Montebello who took charge of the set-piece which Freitas converted into goal with a headed lob that hit the back of the post.

After the change of ends, Gudja failed to stage a reaction and pull one back before Ħamrun put the game to bed with their fourth through Uros Duranovic – his 10th of the season, as he sits joint-second with Floriana’s Kemar Reid in the top scorers’ list.

For Gudja, this was their 10th defeat of the campaign as they remain bottom of the standings with six points to show for their efforts.

Renzo Kerr Cumbo’s side remain the only team without at least one victory in this 2023/2024 season.

J. Spiteri; R. Muchardi, L. Gatt (86 Brenner), J. Quintero (74 M. Conti), R. Fernandes, C. Nwafor (86 G. Zammit), R. Nanitelamio, Z. Grech (61 S. Attard), A. Friggieri (74 S. Akomeah), M. Esposito, G. Joseph.

H. Bonello; L. Montebello, R. Prsa (74 Y. Nenov), E. Freitas (85 G. Mangion), U. Duranovic, Ederson (74 C. Rutjens), O. Bjelicic, J. Corbalan, S. Paintsil (82 F. Bugeja), E. Marcelina (74 N. Krstic), R. Camenzuli.

Referee: Darryl Agius.

Yellow cards: R. Fernandes, C. Nwafor, Ederson.

Degran Jackson 55 (S); Leandro Aguirre 24 (M).

Marsaxlokk failed to keep the heat on third-place Sliema Wanderers after being held to a 1-1 draw by Sirens in Sunday’s late kick-off in the Premier League.

Winston Muscat’s side remain fourth on 26 points, trailing Paul Zammit’s Sliema by five now.

Marsaxlokk forged ahead through Leandro Aguirre, captain on the day for Muscat’s side.

Sirens, coached by Steve D’Amato managed to level terms through Degran Jackson.

The St Paul’s Bay-based side held on to the draw to record their fifth draw in this campaign as they move to eight points.

With Gudja falling to Ħamrun, Sirens remain second-bottom but see their gap from Sta Lucia increase to seven after the latter’s victory on Saturday.

A. Cassar; D. Borrero, P. Owusu, N. Pulis, H. Panayiotou (90 H. Akadom), G. Martins, K. Ntampizas, B. Asare, S. Borg (86 D. Agius), K. Donsu, D. Jackson.

M. Drobnjak; K. Micallef, J. Ghio, Y. Messias, D. Bonnici (69 N. Portelli), J. Walker (83 N. Muscat), L. Aguirre, N. Radem, D. Dall’Oca (83 F. Brenner), S. Akinbule, J. Gomes.

Yellow cards: Pulis, Borg, Jackson, Gomes.

Referee: Philip Farrugia.

Standings provided by Sofascore

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