GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division II
Kercem Ajax Stadium
Xaghra U : 1 (D. Bajada 69’)
F. Azzopardi, S. Sultana, M. Galea, D. Bajada, J. Xerri (O. Pogukay), E. Bugeja (S. Bonello), G. Farrugia (P.J. Mifsud), L. Attard, J. Bajada, S. Galea, M. Grima.
St Lawrence S : 1 (M.S. Telessi 42’)
N. Merceica, S. Mizzi, L. Buttigieg (S. Cauchi), L. Pisani, S. Dimech, J. Theuma (K. Hili), M.S. Telessi, C. Cauchi, C. Azzopardi, C. Farrugia, L. Attard (C. Mifsud).
Xaghra United and St Lawrence Spurs earned a point each from a draw of two in the first match of the campaign for the two sides. The match turned out in a well contested encounter and the final score remained uncertain until the final whistle of the referee. St Lawrence produced more offensive play and produced more scoring opportunities than their opponents but their strikers were often erratic in their finishing so that they failed to take a comfortable lead over their opponents and ended up dropping two points in a match where they should have clinched the maximum points at stake. Xaghra tried hard to resist to St Lawrence’s superiority despite the lack of experience of most of their young players, and also operated some dangerous actions within St Lawrence’s territory. Their efforts were rewarded with the equalizer that arrived midway through the second half and practically saved the point seconds before the final whistle by two decisive interventions of the goalkeeper.
St Lawrence came out in a better shape and seemed more motivated than their opponents. The Spurs managed to hold territorial supremacy and also created good scoring opportunities. On 13 minutes Xaghra’s keeper Frank Azzopardi saved well a good shot from outside the area by Christopher Cauchi. Six minutes later Xaghra replied through a shot by Luke Attard that ended just wide and on 27 the Spurs had an attempt from close distance by Charlon Farrugia that was well saved by goalie Frankie Azzopardi. Two minutes later the same Farrugia had a shot directly from a free kick that was stopped by the crossbar and on 31 minutes St Lawrence lost a good scoring opportunity when Mohammed Senussi Telessi lifted over the crossbar following a melee in front of Xaghra’s goalmouth. Xaghra had another attempt on 41 minutes but a direct free kick by Eman Bugeja was neutralized by goalie Nicholas Mercieca. The Spurs opened the score one minute later through a low shot from close distance by Mohammed Senussi Telessi following a cross from the left flank by Charlon Farrugia.
In the second minute of play of the second period St Lawrence were very close to double the score when Mohammed Senussi Telessi lobbed over the goalkeeper following a cross from the right flank but Xaghra’s defender Savio Galea recovered in time and cleared the ball off the fatal line to avoid a certain goal. Xaghra’s efforts to recover the deficit were sterile and the Spurs continued to be more adventurous in their play. St Lawrence were again unlucky on 64 minutes when a shot from close distance by Mohammed Senussi Telessi was stopped by the crossbar and form the rebound the strikers failed to conclude towards goal. The Spurs were punished for the missed chances as Xaghra leveled the score on 69 minutes when the ball bounced in front of St Lawrence’s keeper from a cross from the left flank by Gabriel Farrugia and the ball ended into an open goal. St Lawrence could have regained the lead five minutes later but a free kick by Charlon Farrugia ended just wide. Xaghra grew in confidence during the final stages and on 77 minutes they were very dangerous through a low strike by Luke Attard that was saved to a corner by goalie Nicholas Mercieca. From the same corner kick taken by Eman Bugeja the ball passed across an open goal but there were no striker in the right place for the tap-in. St Lawrence increased their efforts during stoppage time in an attempt to regain the lead but on two separate occasions Mohammed Senussi Telessi and Steve Dimech both failed to hit the target from close distance. In the third minute of stoppage time Xaghra’s keeper saved the result for his side with two consecutive interventions following close ranged shots by Mohammed Senussi Telessi and substitute Kenny Hili from a melee in front of Xaghra’s goalmouth.
Referee: Mario Apap