The Malta Independent 17 November 2018, Saturday

BOV Premier League: Balzan in free fall after fourth defeat of the season

Chris Cassar Saturday, 3 November 2018, 20:10 Last update: about 13 days ago
Photos: Trevor Sollars
Photos: Trevor Sollars

BALZAN                    0
ST. ANDREWS          2

Balzan: S. Sultana, J. Grioli (L. Micallef 72'), E. Serrano Valero, M. Johnson, H. Ascroft, R. Correa (D. Camilleri 57'), M. Lepovic, U. Ljubomirac, A. da Paixao Alves, A. Majdevac, A. Effiong

St. Andrews: M. Calleja Cremona, A. Brown, T. Blagrove, A. Borg, A. Satariano, J. Farrugia (K. Pulo 84'), K. Mcfarlane, M. Davis, R. Martin, A. Friggieri (K. Magro 76'), K. Atkinson (J. Walker 89')

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Yellow Cards: A. Brown 55', A. Borg 60', K. Mcfarlane 81', A. Satariano 82', J. Walker 90' (S), U. Ljubomirac 81' (B)

Scorers: K. Atkinson 16', 44' (S)

Referee: Emanuel Grech

Assistant Referees: Paul Apap, Mitchell Scerri

Player of the Match: Martin Davis (St. Andrews)

Attendance: 304

History repeated itself yesterday as St.Andrews repeated last season's feat, again beating Balzan. Kevaughn Atkinson was the Saints' hero yesterday scoring both goals in the first fourty five minutes.

Balzan are now in near desperate situation, having lost their second consecutive game and the fourth so far this season, almost half their games played. These numbers do not augur well for Balzan, who lost the title in the last 90 minutes last season with the defeat against Hibernians, but seem already out from this season's title race.

Their deficit from leaders Gzira is already up to eight points and with teams like Hibernians and reigning champions Valletta flying high, their title ambitions are now almost reduced to none. Balzan yesterday failed to score once again, even though having the initiative and control of the game for long periods.

Balzan have to admit that the departure of star striker Bojan Kaljevic to Valletta was a deadly blow for them, and will most probably never be adequately replaced.

For the Saints these three precious and deserved points give them a much needed boost in the lower part of the table as they move to a safer place with twelve points. The Saints played diligently, waiting for their opponents who had to make the game, obliged to win. The Saints' defence was rarely in trouble and when they had the opportunity were very dangerous in their breaks.

Balzan started on the offensive but it was almost obvious from the start that it was not going to be easy for Balzan. To make matters worse for them, the Saints won a penalty on fourteen minutes, a penalty awarded for a Majdevac handling infringement, and from the penalty spot Kavaughn Atkinson made no mistake.

Balzan failed to react, rather static and erratic in their approach. The Saints were finding open spaces and on the half hour aa Aidan Friggieri shot just missed the target. A minute from the break St.Andrews doubled the score. Balzan goalkeeper Sultana failed to hold a Davis cross and Atkinson was again on hand to put the ball at the back of the net from close range.

On the resumption Balzan appeared to be in a state of shock as Johan Scicluna's side went close to a third goal on 50 minutes when a Martin Davis shot hit the upright, and minutes later Sultana denied Atkinson from his hat trick with a very good save.

Balzan's only chance to come back in the game came with twenty minutes to go with Majdevac's effort providentially blocked by teenage defender Alex Satariano. 
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