GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division II
Kercem Ajax Stadium – 15 December 2018
Xaghra U FC : 1 (J. Camilleri 31’)
Attard, J. Bajada, K. Hili, J. Camilleri, S.R. Gabriel, M. Mamo, S.F. Bajada, J. Xiberras, G. Farrugia (A. Farrugia), E. Galea (Jh. Attard), J.G. Vella.
Oratory Y FC : 1 (D. Degennaro 67’)
Sammut, J. Azzopardi, E. Buttigieg, K. Farrugia, F. Cini (M. Zammit), S. Azzopardi, A.T. Bezzina (N. Attard), D. Degennaro, J. Xerri, S. Curmi (P. Said), J. Attard.
In the last match from match-day 8 of the campaign Xaghra United and Oratory Youths shared the spoils in a draw of two-goals so that Xaghra are now back co-leaders with Sannat Lions, while Oratory are joined Qala Saints at the runners up position, both with just one point behind the leaders.
This was a direct clash between two teams who were aiming for a win to take command of the category. The match turned out to be well contested as the two sides tried hard to impose their play but for most of the encounter the defensive departments prevailed over the respective strikers and the actions at goal were rare. Xaghra took the lead with a goal scored just after the hour mark following a mishap at Oratory’s defence but failed to defend their lead so that Oratory clinched a deserved equaliser midway through the second period. During the final stages Xaghra pushed more players forward in an attempt to regain the lead but Oratory managed to defend the positive result until the end of the encounter.
Oratory produced the first serious attempt at goal of the match in the second minute of play through a direct free kick by Francesco Cini that ended wide. As time passed by play took place in the midfield where the two goalkeepers were not called to make difficult saves. Oratory however, threatened Xaghra’s rearguard on 19 minutes through another free kick by Francesco Cini that was neutralised by Xaghra’s keeper Owen Attard and two minutes later Xaghra’s Joseph George Vella crossed from the right flank but striker Samson Remi Gabriel arrived late and failed to connect so that the ball ended wide. Xagharn opened the score on 31 minutes when Oratory’s goalkeeper and the central defender hesitated to clear the ball from the area so that Johnny Camilleri took the ball and placed easily into an open goal. The Youths tried to produce an immediate reaction and on 37 minutes a free kick by Francesco Cini ended just over the crossbar.
Oratory came out more aggressive after the break but they found it very difficult to create danger towards Xaghra’s goal. Xaghra were well organised at their defence and also threatened Oratory’s rear guard with counter breaks. On 61 minutes Xaghra could have doubled the score when Oratory’s keeper Richard Sammut cleared a cross from the right flank by Joseph George Vella but Johnny Camilleri hit badly form close distance and the ball ended wide. On 67 minutes Oratory levelled the score when Xaghra’s defence failed to clear a low cross form the right flank by Francesco Cini and debutant Daniele Degennaro followed the action and netted with a low shot from close distance. Xaghra tried to produce a reaction in an attempt to regain the lead and on 79 minutes they produce a good action when Kenny Hili entered Oratory’s territory and tried to release Johnny Camilleri but Oratory’s goalie Richard Sammut left his position in time and took the ball before the same Camilleri could hit towards goal from close distance. On 83 minutes Xaghra’s Marlon Mamo had a good attempt from a free kick by Joseph George Vella that ended just wide and on 41 minutes the same Vella had a free kick from long distance that was neutralised in two attempts by Oratory’s goalie. Oratory could have turned the result in their favour on 87 minutes when Aleandro Bezzina entered Xaghra’s territory but goalie Owen Attard managed to take the ball in time and denied the same Bezzina from hitting towards goal. Xaghra’s last opportunity to obtain the win arrived on 90 minutes when Kenny Hili had a shot from a good position following a short clearance by Oratory’s defence that missed the target.
Referee: Raymond Tabone