Attard hit six past Sta Venera, Luqa beat MsidaPublished: 25-01-2021 13:50
BOV Amateur League ABOV Amateur League BBOV Amateur League C
Attard hit the headlines in the Amateur League last weekend, beating Santa Venera 6-0 with four goals by Bledi Alla, while Luqa were the better of Msida in the top of the table clash in Group B. Promotion to the Challenge League 2021/22 is very close for Mġarr United, Luqa St Andrew's and Melita. GROUP AMġarr United 2 Mellieħa 0With beating neighbours Mellieħa, Mġarr are near to promotion to Malta’s second football level for the first time ever in their history. It was an interesting encounter between two rivals in which the Blues gave it all to halt Mġarr’s positive run. Mellieħa started well, pressuring their opponents deep into their area during the first quarter of the match. But in the 35th minute, Mġarr took the lead. Mellieħa did not deal well with a loose ball and Jamie Lee Micallef took this opportunity to pass the ball to his Lazar Doric who tapped in the ball home. Mellieħa protested for an offside decision with eventually Mellieħa coach Brian Bartolo being sent-off from the bench. It was the breaking point of the match and in the 52nd minute, Micallef dribbled his way through Mellieħa’s defence to add Mgarr second goal. One more win for Mġarr and they seal a historic season. Għaxaq 2 Żurrieq 3George Magri’s Żurrieq made a giant step forward to secure the runners-up spot in Group A of the Amateur League by beating Għaxaq by the odd goal in five. It was a hard-earned win by Żurrieq, who came from behind with the winning goal arriving only at the stroke of full-time. Għaxaq, who still wait for their first win of the season, took the lead on 12 minutes thanks to an unfortunate own goal by Mauro Bonnici, followed four minutes later by a Jeremy Azzopardi strike. Żurrieq were shellshocked but on 21 minutes, Andre-Joe Cutajar reduced the deficit and two minutes before half-time, the nippy Jean-Paul Formosa equalised. The second half belonged to Żurrieq who however left it late to score the winner thanks to another Cutajar strike. Marsaskala 2 Għargħur 0Like in the previous match, Marsaskala decided their issue with Għargħur only deep into the second half. The latter defended well and had their fair share of ball possession, creating some danger in the Marsaskala penalty box. It had to be playmaker Joseph Chetcuti to open the score on 73 minutes, with Larken Friggieri doubling five minutes later, to give Marsaskala another hard earned victory. With three more league games to go, Marsaskala are still in a fierce battle for third spot with Mellieħa and Birżebbuġa. Ta’ Xbiex 0 Birżebbuġa St Peter’s 2The Saint Peter’s from Birżebbuġa had little trouble overcoming a sturdy Ta’ Xbiex side. With this win they keep on having hopes reaching the Promotion Play-Offs. Just before the end of the first half, in the 42nd minute, Vinicius dribbled his way past Ta Xbiex’s defence and with a low shot, placed the ball in the left corner beating onrushing goalkeeper Matthew Schembri. Six minutes after the interval, from a corner kick, the ball was headed past Schembri by Birżebbuġa captain Keith Muscat, to seal their fourth league win of the season. GROUP BMsida St Joseph 0 Luqa St Andrew’s 2The match of the weekend in the Amateur League was undoubtedly the one between Luqa and Msida on Saturday afternoon, a clash decisive for direct promotion to the Challenge League. It looks like it is going to be the season of St Andrew’s, who deservedly beat Msida 2-0. The Luqa rear-guard never put a foot wrong and were clinical up front. With Msida seeing more of the ball during the game, they were rightly disappointed not to take more out of this game. After a goalless first half, Luqa took the lead thanks to a freak own goal just after the break. Msida captain Fabio Muscat passed the ball back to goalkeeper Gosef Mizzi, who kicked the leather against Muscat with the ball bouncing into the empty net. It was the signal for Msida to go all out on attack, but remarkably created very little danger up front. Luqa sealed the issue deep into added time thanks to Mario Jude Dominicius, who placed the ball into the empty net from long distance with Mizzi out of his own box. With two matches to go, Luqa have now opened a four-point gap towards Msida, which means a win against Mtarfa in two weeks’ time would seal promotion. Rabat Ajax 2 Mdina Knights 1The Magpies stay in the hunt for the runners-up spot by beating neighbours Mdina with the odd goal in three. The Knights, still looking for their first league win this season, took a surprise lead thanks to Andy-Paul Camilleri, who converted a penalty on 37 minutes. However, on the stroke of half-time, Rabat were also awarded a penalty and Zachary Tanti made no mistake from the spot to send his team into the dressing room with a 1-1 score. As expected, Rabat went forward in search for a winner and were rewarded on 64 minutes with a Nicolai Attard goal. Mdina tried hard to get back into the match for the remaining time left but could not find the net, giving Rabat another priceless win in their search for promotion. Siġġiewi 2 Mtarfa 1Trevor Thomas’ Siġġiewi are back in the hunt for a Promotion Play-Off place thanks to a hard-earned victory over Mtarfa. It was a must-win match for the Siġġiewi side, who came from behind as veteran striker Gianluca Calabretta scored the opener early in the game for Mtarfa on seven minutes. Mtarfa failed to build on their advantage and were in for a cold shower in the second half. Siġġiewi striker Emmanuel Mbong crowned himself as man of the match with two well-taken goals on 67 and 79 minutes, to turn the match around. With three matches to go, Mtarfa, Siġġiewi and Żabbar will battle it out for the last Promotion Play-Off spot, in what promises to be an exciting finale of the league. GROUP CMelita 2 Dingli Swallows 0Melita made it ten in a row beating Dingli 2-0 to remain solidly at the command of NAL Group C with maximum points. It was a deserved victory for Melita even though Dingli gave them a good run for their money keeping the match in the balance till stoppage time when the Swallows suffered the second goal. As expected Melita had more of the ball, but scoring opportunities were scarce. Melita took the lead on 33 minutes when Antoine Attard scored direct from a freekick giving Dingli goalkeeper Manuel Galea no chance to save. On 55 minutes a Karl Mohnani shot hit the upper part of the crossbar and on the other end young Melita goalkeeper Luciano Camilleri, still seventeen, made a very good save off a Dylan Mercieca shot on the turn. On 80 minutes a Matthew Debattista freekick was brilliantly saved by Galea and deep in stoppage time Melita sealed the issue when Mohnani scored after a solo run through the heart of the Dingli defence. The Amateurs now need one point against Kirkop United next Saturday to seal promotion. Attard 6 Santa Venera Lightnings 0Carmelo Caruana’s Attard made no mistake against bottom team Santa Venera with Albanian striker Bledi Alla in fine form, scoring four of his side’s six goals. Alla opened the scoring on nine minutes, converting a penalty. Sta Venera reacted well but ten minutes later, Jurgen Gauci doubled the score from a corner action. Alla’s second goal on 50 minutes was a beauty, with the player controlling the ball in midfield, noticing Carbonaro was slightly in front of his goal, beating the Sta Venera custodian with a precise long-distance shot. Nicholas Schembri added Attard’s fourth on 74 minutes, his 12th league goal of the season. Alla then added two more on 77 and 89 minutes. Attard remain comfortably in the runners-up position. Kirkop United 2 Xgħajra Tornados 0Kirkop United moved closer to participate the Promotion Playoffs, beating Xgħajra Tornados 2-0. Daniel Claridge broke the deadlock for his side as he scored a superb freekick just before the break. In the second half Kirkop continued to show their superiority and doubled the score in the 72nd minute, thanks to Lincoln Micallef. In the remaining minutes of the game the Tornados pressured Kirkop’s well organised defence but never gave the impression to be able to get back into the game. With all first three teams practically out of reach, Xgħajra now need to deal with Kalkara United to safeguard their ticket in the Promotion Play-Offs.