GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I
Victoria H : 2 (K. Farrugia 64’, C. Mercieca 76’)
A. Parnis, J. Pace (J. Tabone), S.F. Bajada, D. Sowatey, L. Grima (A. Azzopardi), K. Farrugia, E. Lattes, C. Camilleri, C. Mercieca, G. Dwomoh Lombas (J. Camilleri).
Gharb R : 1 (R. Zammit 90+2’)
D. Spiteri, M. Zerafa, J.P. Grima, A. Sultana, P. Dorovic, D. Bellotti, C. Attard (J. Camenzuli), M. Bezzina, J. Portelli, M. Barbosa (L. Meilak), A. Shkjan (R. Zammit).
Victoria Hotspurs found it more difficult than expected to earn the maximum points form their match against Gharb Rangers and they only managed to clinch the victory with two goals scored midway through the second period. The Hotspurs dominated over the opponents for long stretches but they found it extremely difficult to convert their territorial supremacy into goals and in some occasions they also suffered Gharb’s action within Victoria’s territory. With this result the Hotspurs took full advantage of the defeat conceded by Nadur in their respective match from match-day 13 and extended their lead over the same Nadur to seven points and retained a comfortable ten point lead Xewkija Tigers.
The two sides had some regular players missing due to suspension. Victoria started to produce play within Gharb’s territory from the early stages but Gharb’s defence was well organised and the goalkeeper was not called to make any difficult interventions. The first serious attempt towards Gharb’s goal arrived on 32 minutes through a shot by Henrique Maciel that ended away from goal. Three minutes later Galder Dwomoh Lombas had a shot following an action by Henrique Maciel that was deflected to a corner by Gharb’s defence and from the same corner action a shot by Emilliano Lattes ended just wide. The same Lattes had another attempt on 39 minutes that that ended wide. On 44 minutes Gharb operated a dangerous move through an initiative by Marcello Barbosa who realised striker Ardit Shkjan but the latter had his goal that was disallowed for an offside; and seconds before the end of the first half a shot by Gharb’s Michael Bezzina was well saved by goalie Adrian Parnis.
The Hotspurs increased their efforts from the early stages of the second period. After just fifteen seconds of play the Hotspurs protested for a penalty when Henrique Maciel ended on the floor in then and on 47 minutes a header by Galder Dwomoh Lombas following a cross by Christian Mercieca ended wide. The Hotspurs were reduced to ten players on 49 minutes when Henrique Maciel was shown two consecutive yellow cards for protests with the referee. Two minutes later Gharb also ended up with ten players when Josef Portelli was sent off for a second bookable offence following a foul on Emilliano Lattes. On the hour mark Gharb produced another threatening action through Marcelo Barbosa but from his pass Ardit Shkjan incredibly failed to hit properly and the goalkeeper neutralised the danger. Three minutes later Gharb’s keeper Daniel Spiteri was well placed to block a shot by Emilliano Lattes but on 64 minutes the Hotspurs opened the score through a header by Kevin Farrugia following a cross by Jason Pace. Six minutes later the Hotspurs were again dangerous but a shot by Emilliano lattes following a clearance by the defence, ended over the crossbar. On 77 minutes Victoria Hotspurs doubled the score through a low shot by Christian Mercieca who was released in the area by Emilliano Lattes. Gharb managed to score their consolation goal and made the score a respectable one in the second minute of stoppage time with a low shot by substitute Reuben Zammit who received inside the area from the other substitute Josef Camenzuli following a fine move by John Paul Grima.
Referee: Sandro Spiteri