The Malta Independent 20 January 2019, Sunday

BOV Premier League: Tulimieri gives Spartans the perfect Christmas present

Simon Farrugia Monday, 17 December 2018, 22:18 Last update: about 2 months ago
Photos: Domenic Aquilina
Photos: Domenic Aquilina

Valletta               0
Hamrun S.          1

Valletta:  H. Bonello, J. Caruana, S. Malano, M. Piciollo, J. Borg, E. Pena Beltre, J. Zerafa, I. Saleh, M. Alba, B. Kaljevic, M. Fontanella  

Hamrun S. :   M. Bartolo, A. Monticelli, E. Pepe, T. Caruana, S. Nayar, W. Domoraud, M. Gauci, M. Criaco, K. Micallef, C. Calil, K. Tulimieri

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Referee: Philip Farrugia

Asst refs: Roberto Vella, Mitchell Scerri

4th official: Mario Apap

Scorers: Kevin Tulimieri 69'

Yellow cards: T. Caruana, K. Micallef , W. J. Domoraud, A. Monticelli

Red Card: K. Micallef

Player of the match:  Kevin Tulimieri (Hamrun S.)

TMI Top 3:  1. K. Tulimieri      2.  E. Pepe       3.    M.Bartolo

Attendance:  1,917

Hamrun had one over their eternal rivals Valletta when they beat them by a solitary goal scored midway through the second half. It was a spirited performance by the Spartans who kept climbing up the ladder and are now in fourth place.

All in all this was a deserved win for Hamrun who are now showing their true potential after a rather bumpy start.

For Valletta it was a miserable evening and after succumbing to their third defeat of the campaign at the end of the first round are lying three points of joint leaders Gżira and Hibernians.

Valletta were seeking maximum points from this match in order to join Gzira and Hibernians at the top. They went into this match on an unbeaten run of ten matches and moreover a clean sheet in their last six games.

In fact this ended on 68 minutes of this match when Kevin Tulimieri beat substitute goalkeeper Cini who had come in for the injured Henry Bonello. They were fresh from winning another Trophy, the Super Cup after beating Balzan by a 2-1 scoreline.

Valletta were missing the injured Ryan Camilleri but welcomed back Joseph Zerafa.

On the other hand Hamrun Spartans were also on a good run, unbeaten in their last five matches and coming from a 3-2 triumph over neighbours Pieta Hotspurs.

Defender Orestis Nikolopoulos was ruled out as he was suspended for one match.

In the initial moments of the first half goal mouth actions were not the order of the day. On 19 minutes Italian coach Giovanni Tedesco was forcec to effect a change with Ryan Darmanin coming on instead of the injured Caetano Calil.

It was the 22nd minute when Valletta went near for the first time. A Migeul Angel Alba free kick found Bojan Kaljevic but his effort was cleared off the line by the Spartans rearguard.

Hamrun responded on 35 minutes with Domoraud testing Bonello with a fierce shot but the Valletta shot stopper blocked and finally danger was evaded. Bonello was once again the saviour for the Lillywhites when three minutes from the end of the first half he saved Tulimieri's header.

Hamrun took the lead in the 70th minute when off a Triston Caruana freekick Enrico Pepe took the ball after it was blocked by the Valletta defence and served Kevin Tulimieri whose diagonal shot beat Cini for what proved to be the winner.

Valletta were dejected and tried to mount a reaction but all they could offer was a headed effort by Kaljevic which was cleared off the fatal line by Caruana. With Hamrun going near to sealing the issue a few seconds later but Domoraud headed inches wide Tulimieri's cross from the left.

In the dying minutes Hamrun's Karl Micallef was given the marching order for a second bookable offence.

The final whistle was welcomed by the numerous supporters that flocked to the National Stadium with the Spartans players handing them the most treasured Christmas present by beating their rivals Valletta.

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