The Malta Independent 19 September 2019, Thursday

BOV Premier League: Jake Grech late winner puts Hibernians on top of the standings

Chris Cassar Saturday, 16 February 2019, 16:31 Last update: about 8 months ago
Photo: Domenic Aquilina
Photo: Domenic Aquilina

St-Andrew's                  1
Hibernians                    2

St. Andrew's: M. Calleja Cremona, A. Satariano, R. Martin, T. Blagrove, D. Reid (D. Debono 81'), J. Farrugia, A. Borg, J. Walker (L. Sciberras 79'), M. Davis, D. Jackson, M. Woo Ling (A. Friggieri 89')

Hibernians: M. Jovicic, D. Vella, N. Radojevic (M. Dias 61'), M. Barbosa De Silveira, J. Mbong, J. Grech, J. Degabriele (M. Sahanek 34'), B. Kristensen, T. Marcolino (C. Zammit 89'), A. Agius, T. Fonseca

Scorers: Adrian Borg 45+2' (S), Marco Sahanek 75' (H), Jake Grech 88' (H)

Yellow cards: J. Walker 11' (S), R. Martin 22' (S), D. Vella 28' (H), J. Mbong 41' (H), M. Woo Ling 45' (S)

Referee: Mario Apap

Assistant referees: Duncan Sultana, Thomas Debono

Player of the match : Joseph Farrugia (St. Andrew's)

TMI Best Three: 1. J. Grech, 2. M. Sahanek, 3. J. Farrugia

Hibernians are now sole leaders after beating St. Andrew's thanks to a late rally, with Valletta held by the ever surprising Senglea side.

It was a difficult test for Hibernians who were expected to get the three points at stake, but were made to fight hard for the final prize as the saints never gave away an inch and were close to obtain a surprising but precious point.

Hibernians lost Jurgen Degabriele in the first half as the Hibernians starlet injured his knee and had to be taken to hospital. The paolites found it hard to penetrate a well organised St. Andrew's defence and were stunned just before the break when the Saints even took the lead.

In the second half Hibernians went in full forcing over their opponents in search of the equaliser, but had to wait till late in the game to snatch a dramatic victory that could leave its toll at the end of the season.

The game had a very slow start with practically no shot at goal in the first thirty miniutes of the game. Hibernians were blocked in midfield with the Saints' tactical disposition making it hard for the Paolites to weave their moves.

On 29 minutes the Saints were unlucky too when a Joseph Farrugia freekick was deflected by the Hibernians custodian with the ball finishing against the crossbar.

Two minutes later Degabriele had to be substituted with Austrian import Sahanek, a player which proved to be fundamental in the second half. In stoppage time St.Andrew's took the lead when defender Adrian Borg headed home a well taken corner by Joseph Farrugia.

On the resumption Hibernians were more aggressive and determined to level terms. On 52 minutes a Marcolino low shot created havoc in front of Calleja Cremona, but somehow the Saints' defenders managed to scrape the ball to safety.

Hibernians continued to dictate matters and a Marcolino effort just missed the target. On 66 minutes a Sahanek freekick went over the bar and four minutes later Dunstan Vella powered his way inside the baox but his shot was well saved by Calleja Cremona.

On 75 minutes Hibernians drew level when Marco Sahanek scored direct from a freekick, completely deceiving goalkeeper Calleja Cremona. Hibernians continued to attack in search of the winner with the Saints having some breaks and in a rare chance Woo Ling's shot was well saved by Jovicic.

Two minutes from the final whistle Hibernians scored the all important winner when Marcelo Dias passed towards Jake Grech, and the ex-Birkirkara player, for the second consecutive match, scored what proved to his side's winner, for a very precious victory.

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