Kercem Ajax Stadium

St Lawrence S: 0

Fenech, L. Buttigieg, C. Cardona (S. Caruana), S. Mizzi, J. Grima, J. Theuma, M.S. Telessi, C. Cauchi, D. Micallef, J. Grech (L. Attard), C. Tabone.

Sannat L: 1     (S. Baala 15’)

Brignoli, J. Buttigieg, O. Xuereb, F. Xuereb, J. Agius (A. Debono), N. Micallef, M. Muscat, D.U. Monday, A. Camilleri, A. Adesina (K. Bonnici), S. Baala (E. Gauci).

In the opening match of the second division campaign Sannat Lions earned the full points at stake with a close win over St Lawrence Spurs.  The match lived up to the expectations as the two sides are aiming to be among the challengers for promotion this season.  Sannat’s win matured with a goal that was scored during the early stages of the encounter.  For the rest of the match St Lawrence tried hard to level the score and also had a scoring opportunity from a penalty that was missed.  The two goalkeepers were among the players who distinguished themselves in this encounter with some fine saves that denied the respective strikers from scoring.

Play was took place mainly in the midfield during the opening minutes but as time passed by both teams increased their efforts to open the score.  On 5 minutes St Lawrence went very close to scoring when Mohammed Senussi Tellessi release Charlon Tabone in the area but the latter had his low shot saved to a corner by goalie Angelo Brignoli.  Sannat replied on 12 minutes through an attempt by Fabian Xuereb from a corner action that missed the target.  Three minutes later Sannat opened the score through a fine header by Sunday Baala following a corner kick by Josiah Buttigieg.  St Lawrence tried to produce a reaction and on the half hour mark they lost a good opportunity to level the score when the referee awarded a penalty for handling by Fabian Xuereb that was noted by Assistant Referee William Galea, but Charlon Tabone’s shot from the spot kick was saved to a corner by goalie Angelo Brignoli.  Two minutes later St Lawrence’s keeper Elliot Fenech made a very difficulty save following a header on the run by Omar Xuereb and from the rebound the same keeper blocked a close ranged shot by Sunday Baala.  The Spurs tried to push more players in attack but ended up leaving gaps at their defence so that Sannat found more space for counter breaks.  On 34 minutes goalie Elliot Fenech left his position in time to clear the ball from the edge of the area and to deny Sannat’s Sunday Baala from concluding towards an open goal and six minutes later the same goalkeeper saved in two attempts a good shot by the same striker.  The Spurs went closest to level the score on 43 minutes through a header by Mohammed Senussi Telessi from a corner action that ended wide.

The same player had another good header in the fourth minute of play of the second period that just missed the target as St Lawrence were increasing their efforts in an attempt to level the score.  Sannat however were organised at their defence and made it very difficult for the Spurs to conclude they play into good scoring opportunities.  On 67 minutes St Lawrence almost levelled the score when Mohammed Senussi Telessi entered the area despite a challenge with central defender David Udo Monday but his attempt at goal was well saved to a corner by goalie Angelo Brignoli.  Sannat operated mainly through counter breaks during the second period and on 72 minutes they produced a good opportunity through substitute Kenneth Bonnici who had a shot following a personal action that ended just over the crossbar.  One minute later St Lawrence’s goalie Elliot Fenech saved a low shot by Sunday Baala and St Lawrence’s last opportunity to save the result arrived in the second minute of stoppage time through a direct free kick by Jason Theuma that ended just wide.

Referee: George Portelli